It doesn’t discriminate between genders. It really doesn’t. It can harm you- you have read. It can damage your image, perhaps for good. You are aware on it as well. Yet, many among us fall into the trap of cyber-bullying.
Don’t we? In the West, that part of the world that is called civilised, never mind Trump’s shenanigans or those North Korean nukes that are about to strike la-la land, cyber bullying is rampant.
In fact, has been very much so especially in the past few decades ever since Sir Tim Berners- Lee came up with the web stratosphere to ease up our lives. Don’t read sarcasm there, there’s genuine regard for the great Briton who can’t be blamed for creating a world where cyber criminals and bullies exist.
Here’s a startling fact. Might shock you, might not. 23% of world’s cyber crimes happen in the US. The same US that’s got a Pentagon, a CIA, the National Intelligence Agency, now a movie called ‘The Interview’ and, a cultural climate where hooliganism finds new ways to deplore people: be it through making mockery of Michael Jackson or, the convenient means with which a tragedy as fatal as 9/11 was tampered with.
But what’s alarming isn’t only the carefreeness with which young boys and girls- blessed with talents, full of sexual electricity- engage with absolute strangers online! Rather, the pitiable ignorance with which parents- whether in United States, or a Russia, Germany, Spain or, India neglects basic hygiene. Parental hygiene. So when Rahul’s father or Anjali’s mummy exchange pleasantries in a hi-fi party, holding the red wine glass as if their life depended on it, there’s a mistake they do: in not spending enough time the ‘would-be’ victims of cyber bullying.
But hang on.
Aren’t youngsters too responsible for their plight on the Internet? So while 3 percent of world’s cyber-bullying happens in India, which might not pose sufficient threat, it’s the density behind that figure that highlights a worrying trend.
Even in the age groups of 8-16, kids these days have a social media presence.
Would you have imagined that you could run into a Chotu or Pinki on an Instagram, both posing like cool turds, adorning fancy shoes or gadgets whilst lacking in the most basic thing? Why bring your personal life and those tiny tid- bits that matter most to a world that could be anyone? Where you can’t really ‘see’ even as a computer screen sees you?
Does it bother you that around 53% of Indian kids have confessed to have already had a negative experience(s) online? Not our confession. A leading web portal discovered this.
What it also unfurled was the following:
- Only 4 in 10 parents in India monitor their children’s online activity
- Only 3 in 10 parents in India are aware about the cyber-bullying
- Only 43-45 % of Indian schools don’t even have the necessary literature, intellectual mentation to coach students about the ills of cyber-bullying
Just when you begin to fret in nervous energy about the absolute shambolic state of affairs, in an age where a Facebook like defines gratification and a Re-tweet spells success, here is some more crap.
In the recent past, Indian youth has also been erroneously charged with cyber bullying. Take Kritika Biswas, daughter of an Indian Diplomat in the US for instance. Only upon suing New York City for false-arrest and malicious prosecution for a whopping amount did the United States get to learn of the innocence of the Indian native.
Imagine if being falsely accused of committing cyber bullying can cause trauma and stress, in Kritika’s case, she left for India to pursue her academic interests, what would be the actual suffering of those who go through genuine, first-hand humiliation?
So even as we don’t learn and continue to pose details of our intimate, personal lives, only for them to be misused online, here’s what might serve some interest.
Youngsters like 15-year-old, Trisha Prabhu, founder of ReThink, who was until a few years ago- another Indian teen in Chicago- are leading change. Her award-winning patented software helps to fight the issue of online -bullying from the perspective of the criminal: the cyber bully himself.
Apart from this a barrage of Indian laws, whether you know or not, exist that are established to fight the burgeoning menace of cyber-bullying. Consider this, as an instance.
In the end, here’s a word of caution.
Before you judge the so-called ‘introverts’ or sleepyheads for being too aloof, rather clumsily away from the internet world that is ‘happening’, spare a thought for your own safety. Rather, the integrity of those whose peace of mind is connected to yours. Something for which, you don’t waste a second before turning personal life online for anonymous consumption.