Technology and Culture
Short Paper #2
August 1st, 2014
According to the U.S Legal definitions Cyber-bullying can be defined as the usage of the Internet or a mobile device to harm another’s person well being by intimidating, humiliating and/or falsely discrediting. ”Cyber-bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others." - Bill Belsey, President, Bullying.org Canada.
People have more access to the Internet nowadays and consequently cyber-bullying has become one of the main reasons for suicides in the past years. We can reference back to this week’s lecture “Ethic and the Digital Divide”. We have been discussing the technology haves and have-nots and cyber-bullying is the perfect example of a negative impact the technology haves can create in a virtual world. Due to the worldwide accessibility to the Internet, there is no control over who is surging the Internet. Individuals with not-so-fair intentions find some sort of twisted joy on bullying other not-so-strong individuals on blogs and social media platforms.
The Internet is considered a Neutral Technology. It is completely impartial since it is not created based on moral or ethic values. The Internet is just a platform. When we add people to the equation, issues such as cyber-bullying arise. It is almost impossible to surveil people’s interactions and due to this lack of security some of them feel entitled to attack and diminish other individuals. Usually teenagers are the ones most impacted because of their vulnerable stage during adolescence. They are often the victims but also the perpetrators. Going back to the Technology have and have nots, teenagers do not see or consider cyber-bullying as a weapon because they are awfully accustomed to having these technologies available to them. They are desensitized to the danger more so of the power that they have when having access to this technology. Most of the times, they don not realize how much control they have in their hands and how destructive they can be.
There are uncountable cases of teenagers committing suicide due to the unstoppable virtual harassing. According to the CDC, there are 4,400 deaths per year due to cyber-bullying and most of them among young people. For instance, Canadian teenager Amanda Todd was victim of