Can you imagine the last time you were bullied back in Senior High School? Well, I guess with the enforcement of the laws from the Ghana Education Service, bullying has generally gone down.
No one is immune to cyberbullying, except of course, those who are not social media users. Cyberbullying transcends status, political affiliation, age and ethnicity. Gradually, this phenomenon is really becoming a national problem.
On the other side of the turntable, is a new form of electronic bullying popularly referred to as Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying comes in the form of using online threats, mean and aggressive texts on someone using an electronic form. It really has become common, especially among our teenagers as the digital sphere has expanded with technology growing at a fast-paced rate.
With the dire consequences that come with cyberbullying, teenagers bear the brunt at the highest rate according to one research work. Technology is marvellous, but unfortunately, it also leaves some gaps where specific deviant behaviour worms its way through.
As earlier intimated in the premium paragraph of this piece, bullying emanates from schools and friends. However, albeit that has been curbed technology has given that act an extended wing to continue to thrive in a more devastating way. Today, technology has made it very easy to find and connect with anyone through social media, which is fronting as the major panacea for cyberbullying.
A lot of people, especially children, are given unprecedented access to an avalanche of information on the internet and the luxury of also forming friendships and meeting millions of people they do not know. This situation is quite alarming because the main offenders are on these social media pages, and that grants them direct messaging opportunities and forums to these unscrupulous lots.
Regardless of the plethora of guidelines provided by these social media platforms, the ability to monitor such conversations are also thrown to the pigs because privacy settings cast down all these guidelines, leaving such situations to the wit of the victims who may not even know where and how to report such cases of online abuses.
Interestingly, another contributory factor that promotes cyberbullying is the lack of empathy on the part of these bullies. They turn a blind eye and take for granted the emotional turmoil these victims go through. It is therefore not surprising that some celebrities in Ghana have even resorted to the use of curses to threaten cyberbullies. A lot of times, these bullies just spew nonsense simply because telecommunication companies have made internet bundles so cheap that with least amount of about of 1 Cedi bundle, they can cause enormous harm. Sometimes, they find the trolls funny and normal in their perspective nooks and crannies, being oblivious of the amount of pain they can cause.
The devastating effects of cyberbullying cannot be underestimated. Some of these victims out of shame commit suicide. Even though there hasn’t been any direct link or research to prove the death of once-prominent clergyman, “Apraku My Daughter”, many pundits have drawn a close link between the death and his troll on his social media as videos circulated of him, being drunk. However, after some few days, he was bizarrely reported dead and many attributed it to cyberbullying.
Sometimes their can-do spirit vanishes at the instant with a troll-like “wo pre” in our Ghanaian parlance, to wit means “you rush” is really bad. A typical example of cyberbully is when an Instagram user tagged one famous celebrity as barren with a horror face with actually sparked some anger in the celebrity and cursed the user. Did she really deserve this or what wrong at all has she done as one May rhetorically ask?
A lot of these victims become depressed and emotionally traumatised leaving them in a bad state which is very alarming. There really should be laws to mitigate against this problem and should be extremely effective in order to make the internet a safe place to be.