Cyber Woolly Bully - What Is It?
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If you read closely in the report from the Journal of Adolescent Health, you'll see that it's hard to put cyber-bullying in the same class as traditional bullying. They say one of the main qualities of a bullying experience is the “repetition” of aggressive behavior. But with the victim's ability to avoid or return to the electronic attack as often as he/she wants, it seems as though the victim might be willing it on themselves. But either way, the victim does experience some kind of trauma via external torment, and I think that puts them both in the same category.
The online world simply has several inherent features that allow people to misuse it for errant purposes. The main advantage is something I've already mentioned, anonymity. A traditional bully is usually thought of as someone bigger, stronger, or older than the victim. This doesn't have to be the case with cyber-bullies. It can be anyone imaginable, even a seven year old girl...that happened to me once. Oh, the humiliation!
The Internet also has little to no oversight, especially over private messages between users, although most chat forums do have moderators. Email and any kind of text messaging are pretty much like the Wild West. Add the fact that a lot of parents are less technically inclined than their kids and you have a situation where the victim has to tell their parents, which can be a difficult process.
Another factor that can partially be blamed on the victims is society's metamorphosis into technical dependence. People, kids especially, can't do anything anymore without their cell phones, and they constantly check email and update their MySpace, making it hard for them to avoid cyber-bullying.
The bullies themselves will never stop in their quest to find victims. They of course get personal satisfaction from provoking others and watching them resort to destructive behavior, because they need some way to quell their own inner distaste. They thirst for the victim's reaction because it gives them a feeling of control. And they are almost impossible to deal with.
In the next section I will give some hilarious examples, so be on the lookout for something that may look familiar.
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