The Menace of Cyber Bullying

It is that day and age where technology prevails as the master in almost every sector. There is no doubt that it has made our lives easier in many ways. But, it is also important to realize the harmful effects it has bred. Bullying someone physically has long been a menace. Add technology to that and you have a new, widespread and rampant disease ─ Cyber bullying. Oxford dictionary defines it as ‘The use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature’. Recently, an incident came to a light where a journalist was being threatened by a man. He tried to blackmail her into unblocking him by claiming that he would end his life.

He also made a claim that he would post her picture and contact number all over the internet. After suffering through this harassment, the journalist called 1091 ─ the women’s helpline number. But, she did not receive any help. But, she knew the right channel to get help and proceeded on that. Isolated incidents give an idea of the peril that cyber bullying has become today. But, the cause of concern is that many incidents go unreported primarily because there is not enough awareness about it. People do not know what constitutes cyber bullying and what the effective channels are to receive help. Yet another issue is that, most of the times these “helpline” numbers do not work. These are times when the affected person does not have any clue as to the course of action to be followed.

It is important that in addition to the constant flux of information about the most trivial things possible, there is ample knowledge of issues like Cyber Bullying is made available to people. There have been innumerable instances where children have become the prey of vile people who have nothing better to do. Not only children but, people in general are also on the receiving end of this sickness that has not been curbed yet. Many revolutionary and necessary laws have come into place in India but, laws against cyber bullying are the need of the hour. Impressionable minds can be warped into terrible problems through this social problem. There is a dearth of ways in which justice can be served in these cases.

Very often, one hears about how someone tried to commit suicide because of the way they were being threatened and tortured by the means of internet. The increasing capabilities of technology have made it easier for people to find weak links which they can exploit. And as mentioned above, not a lot of information is available about how to maintain one’s security. This just makes it convenient for people to take advantage of the loopholes and hurt others. Why they do it, is a different question altogether. But, it is essential that we understand the gravity of this problem as it spreads faster and farther every second. It is high time that cyber bullying is looked at through a serious lens. After all, every life matters and any kind of harm being caused should be taken into account.

The society is evolving fast and the world is shrinking even faster. Times can become rough but, one should remember that they are not alone in their ordeals and should feel free to ask for help. Staying quiet in situations that disturb someone’s emotional, physical and mental health is harmful. Who knows when asking for anyone’s help can end up saving a life? Stringent action against these perpetrators is necessary. But, in the meantime, everyone can take certain precautionary measures for their own safety. These are small steps that ensure that one’s privacy is respected. Moreover, people should not feel that anything that makes them uneasy is unimportant. Instead, there should be punitive actions against these nasty people.

Parents should take extra care when letting their children use social media sites as they can become easy targets. Vigilance is of prime importance here. Education and dissemination of information can help in limiting the degree of its spread. Government’s interference can help solve this problem to some extent but if we want this problem to be completely wiped off then the active participation of people is pertinent.

Picture Courtesy- Thrive Global

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