With the advancement of network technology, communication between people (especially youth) is more through the online platform and digital media. Communication through the Internet and digital media has indeed brought a lot of convenience and breakthroughs in geographical boundaries. But at the same time, this way of communication lacks the human emotion that cannot be replaced by face-to-face communication. cause our communication to lose empathy and respect for each other in a lot of time. At the same time, the correct and safe use of the Internet has become an urgent need for educators to discuss and seek solutions to help students and young people use the Internet safely for learning and other different ways of use. (Jones, l., & Mitchell, K., 2016) In this post, I want to focus on one of the situations youth misusing the Internet and digital communication media, which is cyberbullying.
Problems & Situation
Cyberbullying has increased significantly in countries around the world. (Cook, S., 2020) According to Cook’s research from 2011 to 2018, cyberbullying is on the rise in most countries, the U.S., Brazil, and India are the most serious top three countries, and India with the highest numbers of the case has reported. The reason for the increase in the number of cases is fast Internet development. Compared with traditional bullying behaviors. Cyberbullying not restricted by places (for example, schools or facilities outside schools) youth can easy to access and use different digital media to bully or be bullied by anyone at any time and in any place. (Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J., 2014) Harmfulness and duration are also more serious and longer than traditional bullying (Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J., 2014) Also in Cook’s work, show more than 50% of all kinds of bullying are cyberbullying. “There are 19.2% happen in Social media, others through text messages 11%, online video game 7.9%, not social media sites 6.8%, phone 3.8%, and email 3.3%.” (Cook, S., 2020)
Most students will not ask their parents or parents for help after being bullied. Because most of them think that asking for help from adults does not change the situation. (Jones, l., & Mitchell, K., 2016) Or fear that you will be ostracized and bullied more after the matter is made public. All of the above may be difficult to stop cyberbullying. Both traditional and digital bullying will have serious adverse effects on students and young people. According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Cyberbullied persons will have adverse reactions conditions in mental, emotional, and physical, (such as feeling sad, angry, losing interest in things, tired or insomnia, etc.) and will be longer than normal, which seriously affects the growth and development of adolescents. Their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Solutions & Strategy
According to Jones & Mitchell, we must abandon the negative impact of fear on the Internet and only focus on teaching students how to safely and correctly use the Internet. Instead, we must improve the responsibility of young people towards digital citizenship, how to elevate online ‘respectful behavior’, and enforce ‘civic engagement’. (Jones, l., & Mitchell, K., 2016)
Here are some of my thoughts:
For students, it is possible to encourage students to understand and participate in discussions about what they consider to be good digital citizenship. Assist and encourage them to create a list of rules on their own and encourage them to implement. Teach about online privacy and digital footprints about internet security, so that they know how to protect themselves.
Implement in daily learning, let students can learn empathy, and communicate with others on the Internet through positive and encouraging sharing and discussion methods.
Teachers and parents should increase discussion and sharing of relevant topics with students. Provide a good communication platform for students if facing digital bullying can be assisted by trusted adults. Actively provide young people with a balance between virtual and reality to ensure that they have an environment to learn different types of communication modes.
Although no evidence ensures civic engagement can reduce cyberbullying, a few studies that believe that increasing youth attention to society overall can increase their general citizenship. (Jones, l., & Mitchell, K., 2016) More and more organizations use digital resources to help schools provide students with an online platform for discussion and attention to civic engagement. (for example, https://www.tigweb.org/tiged/). I believe these resources can also be a good help for teachers. (Jones, l., & Mitchell, K., 2016) At the same time, it also provides a different platform for young people to balance virtual and physical activities.
Although I don’t believe in complete justice in human society, I think we should provide young people with opportunities to learn empathy, respect, and compassion for others, lead them through this century of digital transformation. As their milestone, form them have established a new digital age that belongs to them.
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J., (2014). Cyberbullying: identification, prevention, & response. Cyberbullying Research Center.
Cook, S., (2020). Cyberbullying facts and statistics for 2020, Comparitech.
Jones, l., & Mitchell, K., (2016). Defining and measuring youth digital citizenship. New media & society, Vol. 18(9) 2063–2079
UNICEF. Cyberbullying: What is it and how to stop it,10 things teens want to know about cyberbullying. https://www.unicef.org/end-violence/how-to-stop-cyberbullying