Pulkit Bhasin is currently in 11th grade. He thoroughly enjoys reading, writing, and playing cricket. He has volunteered at other organizations as well where he has taken up a plethora of roles from database management to teaching underprivileged children. He relishes the opportunity of public speaking and has participated in various debating competitions. He holds some experience in computer programming as well.
Ensuring Cyber Safety in a World of Hidden Bullies
All of us have devils within us. These devils often lurk out from within and spread across every society we create. As a result, any and every space in our society gets strangled and clouded before we can allow it to show its potential and flourish. Similar happened with the newest world we created- the cyber world. The Internet has proved to be a vast space of knowledge, creativity, and passion. However, unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the evils of mankind hid behind their laptops and targeted the innocent minds of the Internet. The issue of cyber bullying grew rampant, the anonymity of the Internet allowed perpetrators to get away with whatever they wished to do.
The issue of cyber bullying, like almost every other aspect of our society, is heavily tilted against women. Women are attacked with a series of flirtatious comments from unknown men on the Internet, which they have to combat. Women are victims of men leaking private images or obscene fake images as means of revenge. Women are often body shamed for their weight, height, and body structure, making them feel extra conscious of themselves. The decentralisation and lack of a regulating body over the Internet makes the issue all the more prevalent, with women struggling to report any cyber bullying incidents. Statistics show that almost37% of all US teenagers have experienced cyber bullying at some point of their life. Furthermore, girls in other parts of the world are twice as likely to be cyber bullied compared to boys.
The issue is that mental attacks aren’t considered as severe as physical assaults. Victims are not offered a medium to express the turmoil within them as close ones often fail to understand that mental health issues can actually hurt you more. The prolonged sadness and stress often makes the victim feel like an outsider in our society, as the unspoken fog around depression makes it difficult for the victim to comprehend what they’re going through. 80% of the times bystanders don’t intervene while witnessing any form of cyber bullying and 12.5% of victims end up not going to school to avoid the situation.
Now we go towards the important part -the solution. First of all, as a society, we must learn to talk about these issues and spread awareness of such issues. Only when we begin to address the issue can we begin to eradicate it. Organizations should be created, which offer therapy to victims of cyber bullying and provide them with a medium to voice their opinion regarding their experience. All social media users must ensure that their privacy settings have been set accordingly so that only known members can view whatever they post. This ensures that no perpetrator can penetrate through the security walls protecting a woman’s identity. Creation of authorities for victims to report the crime they faced is all the more important to ensure that the offender is penalised and they also act as a deterrent.
The Internet is said to be the greatest creation of our time, but it all depends on how we utilize it. We, as a society, must work towards replacing the dark pieces of the Internet with the sparkling pieces of knowledge to create a glistening mosaic for every user.
Opinions are of the writer.