Living in a computerized world which constantly speeds its pace and its evolution, it is essential to understand the risks of the arbitrary use of technology in order to be able to identify the potential outcomes and prevent damages that can happen to real life. Nowadays almost everyone has a computer or a smart gadget and therefore, access to online environments is easier to get. People tend to buy on internet, to consult virtual doctors, to make new friends or date, to share personal information in an uncontrolled manner. The topic that I want to tackle today is directly linked with sharing in an irresponsible manner personal information on social networks.
After a short overlook on some pertinent statistics, I discovered that Romanians are addicted to online interactions. Only on Facebook, we can find more than 7 200 000 users while on Instagram there are around 64 900 active persons who shared more than 4 965 361 personal photos. Huge numbers and danger especially for children or teenagers who can’t appreciate the risks of sharing their private life on internet. Good-bye old school bullying and welcome cyber bullying! Cyber bullying is the use of Internet, interactive and digital technologies to harass persons in a repetitive, aggressive, intentional manner by spreading rumors, gossips, defamatory materials or items which incite to hatred.
There are two types of cyber bullying: direct attacks to the victim and by proxy which means that the initiator of the process uses the help of other people to increase the intensity of the harassment. The distinction between a face to face harassment and cyber bullying is major since in the first case you know the identity of your harasser and measures can be taken easily in order to stop the chain of violence or rumors. In the second situation, usually the initiator is usually difficult to get because he hides behind technological devices and hundred of intentional or unintentional participants. If the initiator is difficult to get caught that means that the chain of virtual harassment is also difficult to stop once it had been put on the online market.
Cyber bullying is aggressive, puts mental pressure and has the advantage of using advanced technology for enabling a constant exposure of the materials to the victim. Cyber bullying has no root and it’s difficult to cut the chain of weeds after they spread inside the online environments. Cyber bullying has the advantage of a lacking law, ambiguous regulations and uninformed people. This is a memorial for Tyler Clementi, an 18 years old student at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey who suicide himself by jumping from George Washington Bridge in 2010 after three days of aggressive cyber bullying on Twitter by two door mates who spread a video footage in which the boy was kissing another man. Cyber bullying kills!