Analyzing Cyber bullying through the Lenses of History and Humanities
Cyber bullying has become common in the world today as bullies utilize technology to execute their agenda of terrorizing their victims. As the problem becomes pervasive today, looking back into history reveals, it is a new concept. Yet people have suffered immensely under the grip of cyber bullying. Cyber bullies do not necessarily have to meet face to face with their victims. They cultivate the desire to terrorize, and with the possession of a phone or a computer, they can reach for their victims. In the past, cyberbullying was a rare phenomenon. However, technology advancements have presented both benefits and risks in tackling social issues in the 21st century. In this paper, therefore, emphasis will be laid on analyzing how cyberbullying as a social issue continues to manifest itself. The analysis will be done through educational lenses of history and humanities.
Analyzing Cyber Bullying through the History Lens
Cyberbullying continues to manifest as a significant social problem in the world today. In the past, however, the knowledge about cyberbullying was limited, thanks to little advancements in technology. Technology has emerged as a double-edged sword exposing both risks and benefits to the population. According to Langos & Sarre (2015), technological bullying has become harder to define and contextualize because of the effects it exposes on society’s fabric.
Emerging from traditional bullying, cyberbullying may be similar to the conventional bullying in form and technique of execution. However, unlike traditional bullying, the identity of the bullies is often hidden behind a computer (Hase, Goldberg, Smith, Stuck & Campain, 2015). Bullying has evolved to a point where children and youth information intake is no longer censored, facilitating the practice on the internet (Hase, Goldberg, Smith, Stuck & Campain, 2015). As a result, cultural values have disintegrated because children are exposed to peers beyond their physical environments.
Unlike in the past, youth as young as 12-17 years olds have access to cellphones (Ortega et al., 2012). Through these portable communication devices, youth get access to videos and movies on the internet, some of which are uncensored. Through this exposure, children learn many things from the internet. The harmful content introduces negative learning transcending negative change both at the family level and schools. Children exhibit behaviors that do not conform to society’s moral standing.
Traditionally, parents and society modeled behavior for children to learn from. The traditional Social institutions controlled the uptake of information by children. However, technology-enabled communication has reduced child-parent dependence as children turn to their peers for advice. As they learn about online public chat rooms and social media from their peers’ cyberbullying may result. They find new faceless and hard to identify friends in cyberspace who have the freedom to do as they wish (Hase, Goldberg, Smith, Stuck & Campain, 2015).
Therefore analyzing this artifact from a historical viewpoint helps in understanding why cyberbullying is on the rise today as compared to the past. Historical lens analysis helps to understand cultural issues and generational differences as ways of defining and understanding cyberbullying.
Analyzing Cyber Bullying through the Humanities Lens
Humans of all ages use technology for various reasons at home, in school, and at work. They use the internet to get news, information, videos, among others. While using the internet, people, especially students who are on social media, have reported that cyberbullying frequently occurs either to them or their colleagues (Zych, Ortega-Ruiz & Del Rey, 2015). Thus, cyberbullying has become a significant problem in today’s society as perpetrators feel free to say what they want via the internet (Langos & Sarre, 2015). As a result, cyberbullying is associated with tearing down a person’s self-esteem. Such a generation whose confidence is so tainted may not be trusted with managing and maintaining cultural institutions.
Although culture through traditional institutions still tries to manage the influence that cyberbullying has on the younger generation, it may not be easy. This is because technology has facilitated online users with quick access to content and information. Movies and videos that are trending become tasty among the youth. With the ease of accessing them, cyberbullies have staged themselves to utilize this space(Langos & Sarre, 2015). The ideals expressed in these videos and movies also perpetrate cyberbullying. In the film “On My Way,” for instance, where a student attempts suicide, children who access and watch it may learn that it is trendy to engage in cyberbullying. This is because of online harassment that the student gets as peers encourage him to try again.
Therefore, although electronic communication has facilitated many human interactions in conducting businesses, not all online users are kind. Perpetrators of cyberbullying have hidden their faces behind computers, thus making the concept look so abstract. According to Garett, Lord & Young (2016), the anonymity in using the internet has freed individuals from traditionally constraining societal pressure to behave morally and uphold societal values.
Also, in analyzing this artifact from the humanities point of view, cyberbullying has become universal because the culture has perpetuated it. It is happening because humans view a particular culture as one that is befitting the current generation. Thus, cyberbullying is one of the social issues that reflect what societies are today. When television shows, movies, and videos are made with a target population in mind, it is because society values their relevance. It is a reflection of the consumer culture of human beings, where what is demanded is given.
Therefore, cases of cyberbullying have been on the rise because of specific characteristics of behavior in humans-consumer culture, which entirely affect the social institutions from families to schools and governments. As a reflection of today’s society, perpetrators engage in cyberbullying to justify violence. Some may have been exposed to violence, while others possess aggressive behaviors that result in bullying others. The most common reason for cyberbullying is a lack of social support and family. Thus from an individual and professional interaction, this reveals how much humans need network and family support systems to kill boredom and aggressive behaviors that lead to dangerous and terrorist like actions as cyberbullying, both at the workplace and in the homesteads.
Garett, R., Lord, L., & Young, S. (2016). Associations between social media and cyberbullying: a review of the literature. Health, 2, 46-46. doi: 10.21037/mhealth.2016.12.01
Hase, C., Goldberg, S., Smith, D., Stuck, A., & Campain, J. (2015). Impacts of Traditional Bullying and Cyberbullying on the Mental Health of Middle School and High School Students. Psychology In The Schools, 52(6), 607-617. doi: 10.1002/pits.21841
Langos, C., & Sarre, R. (2015). Responding To Cyberbullying: The Case For Family Conferencing. Deakin Law Review, 20(2). doi: 10.21153/dlr2015vol20no2art525
Ortega, R., Elipe, P., Mora-Merchán, J., Genta, M., Brighi, A., & Guarini, A. et al. (2012). The Emotional Impact of Bullying and Cyberbullying on Victims: A European Cross-National Study. Aggressive Behavior, 38(5), 342-356. doi: 10.1002/ab.21440
Zych, I., Ortega-Ruiz, R., & Del Rey, R. (2015). A systematic review of theoretical studies on bullying and cyberbullying: Facts, knowledge, prevention, and intervention. Aggression And Violent Behavior, 23, 1-21. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2015.10.001