As I have grown older within society I have become aware that there is a new generation that has emerged, younger than my peers and I, who live in a world that treats bullying as a social norm and accepts it for what it is. With the apparent surge in social media usage within this younger demographic, it is easy to observe that bullying has become more prevalent because now those who are guilty of bullying can cause emotional strife within a person’s life just as easily through the web as they can in real life. Lets face it, there is not a lot of courage involved when a kid starts a rumor about someone else through Facebook, Twitter or another social media portal. Their main intention is to embarrass their peer, and if they can do it without a face to face interaction it is probably more likely to happen.
What is more important to pay attention to when investigating this bullying issue is not why kids are being so harsh and ruthless on others, but how these bullying victims are being mentally and emotionally damaged. When I think of democracy, I think of everyone being able to learn and feel safe as well as be grounded on the same playing field. Bullying causes certain youth to feel very damaged and disrespected and this is weakening their feeling of equality and their levels of opportunity. When a student is unable to feel safe in classroom because they live in constant fear as to whether or not their classmates will make fun of them, they will not ask questions in class now will they be able to really explore in the realm of education.
Inspiration…is one way kids can cope through their difficult adolescent years if they are ever faced with a bully. With so many kids online these days, they can definitely used the web to their advantage by visiting various anti-bullying blogs that contain hundreds of wise sayings that may be able to help empower our youth. These blogs can be found on the national level, and their main purpose is to make the victim feel as though they are not alone. These sites can also provide information on how to be an ally to those who are being picked on even if you do not find yourself to personally be a target. Sometimes it is even more important to not maintain silence when an onlooker observes a bully in action, but to speak up for those who are clearly in pain and alone.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. -Nelson Mandela stopbullying,gov
The It Gets Better campaign, blog and video efforts have proven to have a tremendous impact on the youth lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender communities across the United States. This project emerged when it became evident that there was an apparent suicide epidemic because youth who came out were bullied to the point that they felt life was no longer worth living. At that point someone had to step in, and it made sense to build a community of people that could remind kids that life would eventually get better. That at some point they would be able to move outside of the immaturity and inhumanity of their peers and finally reach a level of acceptance. The videos that have been created on behalf of those suffering with being bullied have been issued by ordinary citizens who went through the same path in life, as well as famous personalities who are using their platform to inspire youth and make sure that they know that, it gets better.
The mission of youth should be to DELETE CYBER-BULLYING! That’s where the Anti-Bully Blog comes in with creative and innovative ways to shed light on this disturbing issue. This blog uses the same tactics we have seen before by including personalities that have been put on higher platforms due to their careers, and uses their voices to advise the bullies to stop in their tracks. This blog also focuses on giving tips to different groups of people such as parents, principles and kids so that each of these groups can handle bully situations as they arise in their lives.
Some tactics to combat cyber-bullying that are mentioned include:
- Keep communication open with your child or friend.
- Set up online alerts with your child’s name if you are a parent.
- File a complaint to a website host if there are inappropriate comments made about your child/friend. (via http://www.cbsnews.com)
DEMOCRACY is being undermined when our youth decides to maliciously bully and make their peers feel uncomfortable. When I envision a democracy, I think of a social and political environment that is safe, a place where every member of the democracy feels comfortable enough to express themselves. If we look at a school setting where a bully rules the halls, it can become possible that only that bully’s voice and opinion will be heard. I envision a school system that work incessantly to promote equality of all opinions. If a bully emerges, their tactics and operations to demean others should be squashed immediately. Lets create a system that educates and enlightens kids on how to create a safe environment for one another. Lets show them that being pleasant to one another can promote collaboration and the positive exchange of information.