Beating the bullies

VICTIMS of the schoolyard bully of old could at least escape their antagonist at the end of each day. But the pervasive influence of technology on today’s teenager gives some kids no respite from bullies who use web-based social networks and mobile phones to bombard their victims in their homes, around the clock.

Cyber-bullying involves bullying or harassment via technology – usually through text messages or sites like Facebook. It’s the Net generation’s subset of the age-old human behaviour of bullying, and while there’s little empirical data on its growth, strong suggestive evidence points to increasing rates in cyber-bullying, particularly in adolescence.

That’s not a high-tech development to celebrate; like traditional bullying, cyber-bullying can have serious emotional and psychological effects on its participants. 

Serious adverse outcomes recorded in various studies on bullying have included increased