Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cyber Bullying

This is something that is on my mind. What is cyber bullying?  Can it only be done to those under 18? What if someone over 18 is getting bullied online?
At Stop bullying.gov it states:

"Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose."

Does that mean that bullying is exclusively for children?
I don't really think so, I think it can be for adults too.  In college age kids it states that bullying is more like hazing. See the quotes below

                    "Many state and federal laws address bullying-like behaviors in this age group under very            serious terms, such as hazing, harassment, and stalking. Additionally, most young adults are uncomfortable with the term bullying—they associate it with school-aged children."
That's great for young adults, but what about  adults out in the work place, not in school? At  Bullyingstatics.org it states there is such a thing called Adult bullying. It then goes on to describe the different types. 
  1. Narcissistic Adult Bully: This type of adult bully is self-centered and does not share empathy with others. Additionally, there is little anxiety about consequences. He or she seems to feel good about him or herself, but in reality has a brittle narcissism that requires putting others down.
  2. Impulsive Adult Bully: Adult bullies in this category are more spontaneous and plan their bullying out less. Even if consequences are likely, this adult bully has a hard time restraining his or her behavior. In some cases, this type of bullying may be unintentional, resulting in periods of stress, or when the bully is actually upset or concerned about something unconnected with the victim.
  3. Physical Bully: While adult bullying rarely turns to physical confrontation, there are, nonetheless, bullies that use physicality. In some cases, the adult bully may not actually physically harm the victim, but may use the threat of harm, or physical domination through looming. Additionally, a physical bully may damage or steal a victim’s property, rather than physically confronting the victim.
  4. Verbal Adult Bully: Words can be quite damaging. Adult bullies who use this type of tactic may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate another person. This subtle type of bullying also has the advantage - to the bully - of being difficult to document. However, the emotional and psychological impacts of verbal bullying can be felt quite keenly and can result in reduced job performance and even depression.
  5. Secondary Adult Bully: This is someone who does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves.

Now, what can one do about adult bullying?  Since often times the bullying can occur in the work place, one can tell their boss about it to try to get help. It really depends on your company's polices on how to handle bullying. 
Now what if an adult is being cyber bullied?
What then?

Cyber Bullying is (as found on Stopbullying.gov)
"Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles."

Most of the times, nothing can be done to stop it. One can ignore it, or if it is occurring on a social net work they can block that person. But one thing that should always be done is to document everything. With screen shots and printing and everything else that can be done on computers these day, if the bullying gets to the point of harassment, it can be reported. It is helpful to have all the documentation of the bullying though. Hopefully, no one will  be bullied, but I do think this is important to know. 

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