15 . 4 . 2013
It seems that every time we turn on the television we are bombarded with news stories about violent attacks against children. It has become difficult to figure out what went wrong and isn’t as easy as it used to be to point the finger. Decades ago, we were able to blame the way the attackers were raised, where they grew up and we would judge the parental guidance that they had. Not much longer later we shifted the blame to Hollywood, the music industry and video games.
Enter Social Media:
Less than a decade ago social media came into play and it seems like things have gotten far worse for our children. No longer confined to schools, playgrounds and locker rooms; bullying can reach victims whenever and wherever they should feel safe, through their phones and computers. Social media is thought to be bringing us together, so it certainly could be able to tear us apart. It seems that we are in a world where our ways of communicating are evolving at rapid speed, but have we learned how to communicate effectively?
Ask any company with a Twitter or Facebook account and they will tell you that the service is a double edge sword. It is great to be in constant connect with your fans and customers, but it doubles as the modern day Roman coliseum. Companies have hired teams of employees to keep an eye on the statements and opinions of others in order to defend and maintain face. School kids do not have the resources to do so and many are constantly watching over their back and around each corner afraid of a physical attack as it is. It is terrifying to think that they are not even safe from it all when they are alone in their rooms.
Shifting The Blame, Again:
So who is there to blame now? Chances are, many of us. Turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to anyone being violated has somehow become socially acceptable. People are afraid to speak up for fear of putting a target on themselves. This has to stop. We cannot continue to let things escalate to the point that the youth of the world believe their only escape is suicide. We simply should not accept that children often feel isolated, alienated and are suffering bullying in silence. It is our job to ensure that these kids know there are support systems in place and that revealing that you are a victim of bullying is not weakness. Now it is time to take action by talking to your children about what bullying is, and letting them know they are not alone.