Bully (n.) a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
Nobody is a stranger to the term. Bullying is rampant in our society, and has become more so with the technology we have today. It seems to be easier than ever for bullying to take place with texting and the lightening-fast social media tools of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, and so on. So many of our youth are armed with their cell phones, and they seem to be connected to their devices 24-hours a day. How do we as a society address this problem?
Too many of our young people have fallen victim to bullying; some teens have even taken their own lives due to the extreme bullying they have endured. This tragedy should never again occur.
As parents, teachers, community leaders, adults, it is our duty it is our due diligence to put a stop to this. Handing over the computers, tablets, cell phones to young people should come with strings attached. Adults should have full access to these devices, and the social media accounts that are being utilized, to keep a watchful eye on the conversations taking place. Just as we would not hand over the car keys to someone without the proper training, we should practice the same with texting and social media.
I am a believer that an individual’s privacy should be respected, and this can become a battle between parent and child; but if there is nothing to hide, that becomes a moot point. Finding balance and establishing trust is key to making this work. Let’s not let another young person’s life end too soon because we are not vigilant in protecting them.