It’s easier than ever to be sneaky, thanks to handheld electronic devices and the curtain of the internet. You can create a fake social media account and start a cyber attack on someone else without anyone knowing it’s you. It’s no wonder, then, that cyberbullying has become almost worse than real-life bullying. It’s easier to do and more difficult to catch someone in the act, making it a recipe for disaster.
Who’s to blame? Should we target the parents responsible for growing little bullies? Or, is it the fault of social media, which practically entices those in the mood for some bullying to do it easily and not get caught?
Placing the Blame in the Right Hands
If you ask most people, cyberbullying is the cause of improper parenting. It sounds good, in theory. After all, isn’t it the parents who raise the little cherubs? Shouldn’t every single thing the kid does wrong be blamed on the parents? Isn’t it the parents’ responsibility to know what their child does EVERY. SINGLE. SECOND. Wait – that sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it?
It sounds good to blame the parents because that’s the easy thing to do. But, let’s look at this from a different angle. How easy is it for you to sign on to your Facebook account and post a status? What about posting a picture to Instagram? They take a matter of seconds at the most. Kids and teens know how to do it, too. If they have a phone or computer handy – or even a friend’s phone – they can easily find a way.
Social media makes it so easy to be secretive. Spouses can have online affairs without hardly alerting the other one to any possible wrongdoing. Kids can bully each other. It’s the way of the internet and the digital age.
No, It’s Not the Parents
Does that mean it’s social media’s fault, then?
It means it’s the kid’s fault for bullying. It’s the kid’s fault for believing he’s better than someone else. Isn’t it his choice to succumb to peer pressure or decide to be a bully? Believe it or not, most parents do not raise their kids to be bullies. As much as a parent tries to raise a child correctly, with compassion and knowing the importance of inclusion, it doesn’t always work out as planned. Kids have their own minds and they can easily be influenced by others. Social media simply makes the whole bullying process easier.
Sure, parents should attempt to be aware of what their kids are doing. Does that mean it’s always going to work? No. And we can’t beat them up for doing their best.