Another dot in the blogosphere?

My beef with “cyberbullying”

Posted on: September 22, 2014

Consider all negative connotations that the prefix “cyber” brings to other words. Cyberterrorism, cyberattack, cybercrime, cyberaddict, and cyberbullying.

This is one reason why I think cyberwellness is an oxymoron. When I hear that word, I think of “negative wellness”.

It is not a semantic exercise either. Cyberwellness programmes tend to focus on the negative influences and uses of the Internet. They start from a place of fear instead of rationale thought.

And so does the reaction to cyberbulling.

Before cyber was attached to bullying, we would vilify the bully. With cyberbullying, people tend to vilify both the bully and the tools like text messaging and social media platforms.

Bullying is bullying, cyber or not. One direct way of dealing with the problem is to deal with the bully. Ask the number one question: Why does he or she bully?

However, anti-cyberbully lobbyists sometimes blame the tools. This is no more logical than blaming the unkind hand, stick, or shoe a non-cyberbully would use.

Not all cyberwellness programmes are like that, but most tend to have elements of irrational fear or misplaced strategy. We should see through that. If not we might be “bullied” into thinking that way.

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