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The immersion of technology in everyday life has exploded. With that explosion, society has also seen an increase in negative behaviors that are directly correlated to new technologies. This paper will explore how technology is used to enhance and/or replace traditional bullying methods. It will discuss the anonymity and virtual freedom of bullies, and it will also discuss the relative helplessness of the victims and offer suggestions to counter bullying with technology.
The word “technology” generally evokes a positive image in most people. Touch screens, bells, whistles, widgets, icons, 4 GB, and applications are all terms that excite the “techie”. Although society will admit that problems do arise from the use of technology, few will declare that society is not well prepared to address the ills of technology.
One such ill of modern technology is a new take on an old problem – bullying. In the technological world, bullying has taken on a new face. Rather, it is now becoming a nameless face that is difficult to identify and more difficult to resolve. Anderson and Sturm (2007) state “cyberbullying is the newest form of bullying, emerging as children become more adept at using computers and cell phones for communication and socialization” (p. 1). The authors cite Belsey (p. 1, 2004), “cyberbullying involves the use of information and communication technologies, such as e-mail, cell phone, and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal polling Web sites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others.”
The use of technology facilitates bullying because it can be continuous; it is not easily tracked; access to technology is prevalent. The media increasingly is reporting suicide cases among teens that are linked to...