Bullying with Technology

ArLyne Diamond's Profile

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When we think of bullying, we usually visualize a big burly person standing over someone smaller intimidating the smaller person with size.  Or else, like in the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we assume a boss is intimidating his staff threatening them with loss of income if they don’t comply to his request for sexual favors.

When we think of kids at school being bullied, we think about gangs and bad kids physically ganging up on more vulnerable kids.

Yes, those things still happen.  BUT, what is happening daily – and is causing the most distress – even to the extent of leading teens to commit suicide and adults to quit their jobs – is cyber-bullying.

What is cyber-bullying?

It is insulting and/or embarrassing someone by means of e-mail, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and/or internal communication e-mails.  It’s hiding behind the computer to hurt someone else.

So many of us type almost as fast as we think.  If we are angry or upset with someone else, we slam them with words – and then without thinking – hit send. 

Weirdly enough, we think we are anonymous.  We think we are invisible.  We think we are invincible.  We don’t think about how badly we are hurting another person.

To make matters worse, if a well-intended co-worker or fellow-student chastises us for our cruel remarks – they are attacked – and often attacked worse than the first set of remarks – and by more people.  So, instead of coming forward to say how wrong and inappropriate the bully was – co-workers, other students, even faculty, remain silent.

Cyber-bullying is a significant problem because it is easy and the bully feels safe.  Too, many think they are just being funny.  They don’t see – yes actually see – the reaction to their nasty comments.  They don’t know that they have cut another human being to the quick.

Or, maybe some do.  Maybe some who have such low self-esteem think they get bigger by stepping on others.

The tragedy is that the bully gets positive reinforcement and his/her victim gets laughed at for “taking it so seriously.”

The big question though is:  How do we stop it?  I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Learn much, much more in ArLyne's courses on Illumeo.

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ArLyne Diamond is the President of Diamond Associates and is an internationally recognized author and consultant who teaches MBA university courses in Business, Organizational Development, Quality, Change Management, Persuasion/Negotiation, Marketing and Leadership.