One of my university courses is online, and every week or so the professor posts a discussion question on the university website. Students enrolled in the course are expected to reply to such question and interact with other students in the class based upon the different answered offered. When I went online earlier today to respond to my professors question, I noted that an individual in the class had responded to a comment offered by another student, and their response was incredibly rude and blatantly targeted this other student and their interpretation of the question. Despite this being a university course, it is apparent that electronic and screen-based communication can be a dangerous thing because of the false security it provides. Persons seemingly feel more confident in bullying and scrutinizing others when their identity is concealed by a computer screen, and I personally find this realization to be quite disturbing.
According to GuardChild.com, more than 50% of teenagers and adolescents have experienced online bullying, and approximately 50% of teenagers and adolescents have also engaged in online bullying. Furthermore, to enhance the disturbing details of this issue, approximately 60% of teenagers and adolescent individuals stated they did not report their experience with online bullying to the relevant social media/internet website, which unveils that this issue is a prevalent force throughout contemporary society despite a majority of persons being misinformed about its severity.
I am unsure of why persons feel as though it is acceptable to bully others when their identities are concealed behind an electronic screen, but cyber and online bullying is entirely unacceptable amongst any person or within any given environment. It is far too simple to allow oneself to place a false sense of security in the fact that your identity is not always apparent online, and more awareness needs to be generated to educate individuals about the prevalence and severity of this issue. Bullying, in any shape or form, is not okay, and that is the bottom line.