Rushville Republican

Columns

October 22, 2013

Bullying made easier with social technology

Bullying is a not a new problem but the ease at which it can occur has changed over the years. Specifically, digital media brings new dynamics to the situations where bullying may occur. It may take a bit of courage to bully another person in a face-to-face situation but when the need for live contact is removed, any person, great or small, can engage in the act.

During a face-to-face interaction with another human being, most people can control any impulse to harm or otherwise devalue the communication partner. Meaning, we refrain from acting out with free-range emotion even if we don’t like the way someone dresses, talks, or is basically “different” than what we think they should be. However, it may be with ease that the same self-regulated or self-controlled individuals feel free to express their opinions when sitting alone with their mediated devices.

Psychological interpretations of enhanced self-importance are common during mediated communication events. These narcissistic interpretations occur for various reasons with one main gist being the way in which we must visually construct an entire conversation even though the conversation is not occurring at that very moment — we somewhat pretend and act out a scene as though we are an actor. We imagine the reactions of others and unfortunately when doing so, those reactions may not be true to what would actually occur. Much of it is a fantasy. A serious part of this misinterpretation is that we assume others will fully comprehend our intent. Humor or anger will not always come through as intended during “blind” communication that lacks non-verbal cues.

A larger problem associated with bullying through mediated communication is the assumption of anonymity that many people will feel when communicating in this way. Even in instances when people choose to use their real names such as in a social forum, the disconnect of not being present in a live situation offers that sense of being invisible, immune, or otherwise safe to do or say whatever one wants. Instant emotional gratification takes over because the fear of instant retaliation is relatively non-existent. We can say something mean or hurtful and instead of waiting for a real response, we can walk away from the cell phone or computer and continue living out the fantasy of how we “imagine” the scene plays out.

Text Only
Columns
  • There's something about Maryland My family unit has just returned from a death march – oops, make that, “vacation” – in Annapolis, Maryland. In spite of constant 96-degree temps (though it dropped as low as 95.7 at night), and the stifling humidity, we had lots of dolgurn fun. Mainl

    July 22, 2014

  • Learning to say goodbye From as far back as I can remember, saying hello has been a part of nearly each day.During my youth, it was used when I met new people my parents introduced me to and was frequently followed by a handshake. I couldn’t count the number of times I used

    July 18, 2014

  • Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h

    July 15, 2014

  • Please go away My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven’t caught up. I don’t have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 15, 2014

  • Soothing '60's Surf Sounds I’m sitting in my home office enjoying a serenade of rhythmic pulsations emanating from the outside wall. It’s coming from our water spigot. No. 5 son (age 13) and his buddies are using it to fill water balloons. 1,500 water balloons to be exact. 1,5

    July 15, 2014

  • Soccer-stopping Storm a Lousy Treat What a great way to spend a Saturday morning in July: I’m sitting in my car with rain cascading on the roof, lightning skittering all over the sky, and thunder sockin’ it to the atmosphere with such force that I feel a rumbling in my bum.I’m staring

    July 8, 2014

  • Only in America - Top 10 As we move into the glorious months of summer, I thought you might be amused by reading the Top Ten List of what Canadians supposedly think of how things are going in this country. It’s a lot like David Letterman’s “top ten list.”Number 10: Only in A

    July 8, 2014

  • Government today is way too intrusive What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    July 8, 2014

  • Gone in the blink of an eye Over the holiday weekend I was able to enjoy three days, (somewhat) off work. Three day weekends are always a highlight for me and I am sure most of you will agree.I went fishing to wrap up my Sunday evening. While sitting in the old John boat castin

    July 8, 2014

  • Mum Mum If my grandmother were alive today, she would be 125, and she would still, no doubt, be walking around in her six-inch-high heels, the ones she asked to be buried in—and she’d have a Marlboro in her fingers. She demanded to be called Mum Mum because

    July 3, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.