Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 26 August 2004

On-line bullying: how youngsters use technology to hurt others

This New York Times story about the growing prevalence of the use youngsters, in particular, are making of modern technology to pursue their victims beyond the playground and into their bedrooms or onto their mobile 'phones, is salutray and I must say I was not entirely surprised. There have been a few indications over recent years here in the UK that such things were probably beginning to happen. Most children have access, at home or at school, to computers and of course mobile 'phones and "texting" are completely ubiquitous amongst most people under thirty.

I have seen bullying in operation, both during my own childhood and in more recent times (in schools and in the workplace) although happily report that I have never really been a victim nor a perpetrator. There were one or two occasions when attempts at verbal bullying were directed at me (not of the 'gay' variety, incidentally, but more because I wore spectacles and was connsidered a 'serious' child), but either through luck or good judgement - take your pick - the way I reacted seemed to defuse these efforts and they moved on to other targets. I don't recall ever witnessing, or hearing of, physical bullying at any school I ever attended, but verbal taunts can be just as painful (and longer-lasting) as all but the most serious kinds of physical assaults.

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