How is bullying connected to technology?

By Anna Boarini, Take Ten Volunteer

“Technology is an amazing when it works,” said my Mom. I agree with her, but I would add that technology is an amazing thing when it works and is used in a positive manner.

Bullying is a perfect example of how technology can quickly go from an amazing asset to a hurtful tool. With the advent of Facebook, texting and blogging, every part of our lives can be recorded and shared with others. Home used to be a safe zone from the bullies at school or in the neighborhood. It was a place protected from their influence.

That is no longer the case. Now, bullying can happed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There is no protective place any more. I noticed this when I was in high school. Instead of just not being invited places, I would be bombarded with status updates and pictures of how everyone enjoyed the event. When someone made a mistake, friends would jokingly post about it and discuss the mistake online. These may all seem harmless, but the online pressure can add up.

Technology also gives bullies another place to hurt their victims. Instead of just physically or emotionally hurting them in an actual tangible space, like school or the neighborhood, bullies now have a virtual space they can also hurt the victim.

Even worse, online bullying can be completely anonymous. Anyone, under any name and with a simple email address can start a blog or make a fake Facebook profile, belittling their peers. This wall of safety for the bully makes it very difficult for the bully to be stopped. There have been cases where online bullying has gotten so bad, that children actually end their own lives.

I don’t want to sound all gloom and doom, hating on technology, but there is a very dark side to what it can do. Technology is an amazing thing that has connected people all over the world and opened eyes to different cultures, foods, books, music…the list goes on and on. But, even for all the good technology can provide, it is also a place where bullies can hide and easily attack their victims.

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