The Curious Case Of Cyber Bullying; Is It Really Wounding?

Posted on March 17, 2012 in Specials

By Manisha Chachra:

Ayesha, a 15 year old girl, whose life revolved around a huge friend circle that she had, quite well-known for her academics and famous for her debating skills but nobody knew that she had to go through the biggest ebb of her life. The flamboyance of social networking sites touched her when she met a friend online called Aditya. The daily conversations paved a way for amiable friendship ultimately flowering into teenage love. But the unforeseen trouble of exams forced her to unmoor from the cyber world. The sudden disappearance of Ayesha festered Aditya, who by then became obsessed of her. His obsession reached a zenith when he started posting threatening warnings on her wall that if she didn’t reply he will tell everyone about the sleazy conversations that they had. Reviving back to cyber space she found slanderous matter posted on her wall. The world of confident and valiant Ayesha shattered. Traumatized by the ill the affects of cyber space she decided to escape by committing suicide, which to her was a better option than to be in the bad books of her parents.

Many of us might feel that what Ayesha did was an inappropriate way of responding to the hitch of cyber bullying. One can also see the traces of their identity in someone like Ayesha who designed her own escape mechanism. Cyber bullying, speaking in a modern sense, is a technological way of bullying, humiliating, insulting a person online or by sending them threatening emails. Bullying, as one is aware of, was earlier limited to the school world and in colleges in the form of ragging. Nevertheless, cyber bullying is disgracing a person online which can range from using offensive language to hacking the passwords of people, disguising someone by stealing their names and victimizing a fellow by death threats. Other ways of cyber bullying are cyberstalking, morphing, and email spoofing.

The fast paced technology and the astonishing scientific inventions are making our life easier and comfortable day by day. Now everything is just a touch away. But it’s been rightly said that for anything to be a blessing it must not be mishandled. And cyber space is mishandled not only in India but in other parts of world too.

Undoubtedly, the cyber revolution has brought forward the notion of interconnectedness and interdependence. From Anna hazare movement to the Arab world every uprising received the supporting stick of cyber space. Nonetheless, one cannot close the eyes to the anomalies of the major change. And the biggest setback is cyber bullying. It is a universal right of a fellow to live with dignity and walk with head held high. The ubiquitous right is not only recognized by the United Nations but by the Almighty also. Everyone has a right to breathe fresh in their own bubble. The trouble of cyber bullying cannot be sorted out till we all awaken our conscience and grant the very right to our fellowmen. Teasing and criticizing for petty reasons or for our own entertainment can hurt somebody’s sentiments. Sometimes jeering at people can leave an indelible mark on their subconscious mind and thereby intimidating them to take a dire step in their lives. The ordeal of suffering can also result into various psychological disorders.

To give an example, here I’ll ask you to jog your memory about a certain ‘shouting Jesse’ on YouTube who became a source of several jokes and memes when she posted a video (several actually) online. One must not forget that internet is not one’s private diary. Attentive seeking tactics should be kept under control and your inner-most thoughts should be jotted down in the good old journal with a pen.

To deal with the menace of cyber bullying, parents must keep an eye over their children while they are working on internet. Counseling sessions are vital to keep children free from psychological problems. It is imperative for parents to keep themselves updated with the cyber knowledge. Most of the times parents aren’t aware what their children are doing on their personal computers within the four walls of their rooms. The key rule is to grant a limited liberation to children till they are mature enough to handle the odds of their life.

A good precedent of this can be a recent case of a 19 year old Indian American Dharun Ravi who installed a web cam in his friend’s room who was gay called Tyler Clementi to catch his private moments. The moment his friend learned about infidelity of Ravi, he committed suicide. Later it was known that Ravi is a voyeur. Ravi was also accused of hate crime against homosexuals. Had his parents kept a strict eye on his voyeuristic attitude, it wouldn’t have gone this far. Secondly, the reason why he installed the web cam was his psychological instincts for which he needs guidance.

Cyber world is also a safe haven for pedophiles and perverts alike. With the technology creeping its way in every nook and corner, even 3 year old have Facebook accounts. Life is laid out in front of any person who has a bit of knowledge about how internet works. Every person who has used the internet has left behind a imprint of his/her life on the web. A little bit of search can reveal book loads of information. This paves way for young kids to fall prey to pedophiles who behind the anonymity of internet, satisfy their perverse thoughts. Sites like Omegle, are the perfect platform for it. Thankfully, cops disguising themselves as young children are out there protecting these innocent victims.

Another way of dealing with this setback can be by the implementation of stringent laws . I.T. Act of 2000 must include provisions relating to judicial procedures for crimes like cyber bullying by school students. IT mentions two kinds of offences:

1. Publishing of information which is obscene {article 67}
2. Breach of confidentiality
3. The issue bullying and teasing is not mentioned properly.

The volatile issue of cyber bullying can only be solved with the help of cyber experts, cyber army, cyber savvy judges and inflexible judicial measures. The only laws that Indian constitution have in this regard are against the hacking crimes. The laws regarding the harmful affects of cyber crimes must be executed; meager warning before opening porn sites isn’t enough. Taken as a whole, the laws in India need to be properly defined and structured.

Society is the major catalyst in bringing out the change. Awareness is significant in this regard . Many of us are not aware enough to deal with the issues of cyber-bullying. It is essential for each one of us to be aware and create awareness. Psychological imbalance shouldn’t be looked down upon as a mental challenged.

Fortunately if the above solutions are applied, the future stalwarts will definitely see a day when passionate people like Ayesha wouldn’t give up to the cyber bullying war and will emerge as the real victors.