The following is a guest post from DiosRaw.com. Please check out her website if you would like to read more of her posts.
Hello there, the world is rapidly changing and we don’t know what the future holds. Today I will go into the realm of “what is the future of bullying?”. This post will include what will potentially happen with cyberbullying, school bullying, workplace bullying and domestic bullying in the future of this ever changing world.
So, what is bullying?
There is no legal definition of bullying. But it is usually defined as repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically, and is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability.
Bullying can take many forms including:
So, what is the future of bullying and what can be done?
I don’t have all the answers but what I can do is figure out, based on predictions, my own personal experience and research what will happen in the future for bullying.
I remember the days of going into school, being bullied by groups of girls about my weight and appearance, this eventually led me to turning to anorexia to cope; due to this I lost all my precious hair. I know first hand how devastating bullying can be from my own subjective experience. It was the best thing, looking back, that could have happened to me as it molded me into the person I am today to write this and gave me the gifts of understanding, compassion and a spiritual awakening to the truth of who I am.
- School Bullying. Numerous studies have shown that children who are identified as ‘bullies’ at school are much more likely than others to engage in delinquent and criminal behaviours as adults. The authors of this study concluded that ‘school bullying is a strong and speciﬁc risk factor for later offending’ and ‘effective anti-bullying programmes should be promoted, and could be viewed as a form of early crime prevention.’ Schools are a breeding ground for bullies and to prevent this from happening we need to continue to raise awareness more and more about what it is and how to look out for it. We need people to speak up and tell someone about what is happening. Schools do raise awareness to a certain extent but more needs to be done. Past victims of bullying could go into schools and spend a workshop style day educating people on bullying; this should be a regular occurrence in schools.Children also need to have a safe and loving environment at home to prevent them from craving attention and falling into the category of being a bully. Bullies need to have support on how to deal with their behaviour too, we need to get to the root of the problem. Schools need more programs implemented in order to tame the bullying pandemic. Since many children are at home due to the pandemic, bullying will likely move to cyberspace which means more awareness needs to be spread on how to deal with cyberbullying.
- Workplace Bullying. Over time, we have seen issues of bullying, especially work bullying, greatly increase. In the 18th century bullying was not recognized as an issue and was viewed as a regular and unavoidable part of growing up. It was not until the late 19th and into the 20th century where peer-on-peer harassment was first widely recognized as not only an issue, but a major social problem that needed to be fixed. History shows that work bullying continues to increase, including, both the amount of people who are affected by bullying, and the severity of the methods being used. These aggressive behaviors are becoming more violent than ever before. Recently to address these actions, legislation began to fight against these violent behaviors through establishing new laws that prohibit bullying within workplaces. People need to raise their awareness of who they are, be taught about self-self and basic human moral principles. Workplaces need to implement more ways of detecting bullying and offering support to victims.
- Domestic Bullying. It’s important that we realize how bullying has become so widespread in order to take measures to STOP it. We must stand up for those victims who live in fear each and every day of their lives and teach souls to treat one another with respect. We live in a world where people are different but fail to see that at the end of the day, we are all human beings. Domestic bullying can remain hidden and elusive; victims need the information and knowledge, because knowledge is power, to empower them to leave abusive relationships and stand up for themselves. Will it change? The pandemic will mean people are at home for long periods of time.. cases of domestic abuse will rise and all we can do is keep raising awareness of this kind of bullying for people to have the courage to speak up. Domestic bullying needs more coverage and to normalise pointing it out would be the next best step.
- Cyber Bullying. There has been a major shift taking place regarding how people bully others. Many of us think face-to-face bullying is bad enough, yet perpetrators of bullying have taken it to the next level by using the internet to prey on others. Whether people are using popular social media sites, such as Facebook or YouTube, or texting and sending pictures through their mobile phones, bullies are now using technology to socially torture their victims. According to Feinberg and Robey (2008), people who are bullied through the internet may suffer more psychological harm then those who experience face-to-face bullying because, “…the hurtful information can be transmitted broadly and instantaneously and can be difficult to eliminate…” (p. 11). Because cyberbullying has become so widely used, some schools have also made laws to address how students are using the internet. Feinberg (2008) suggests that one of the steps schools can take to help this problem diminish is to incorporate cyberbullying laws into school policies that specifically address bullying behaviors. Another important aspect some schools are looking into is holding all parties surrounding each incident of bullying accountable. In the past, only the bully themselves would be punished, yet lately some schools are setting up stricter guidelines that will also hold bystanders and witnesses of bullying incidents accountable. Marty Mathiesen, Principal at Nevada Union High School, recently shocked his students by equally punishing all parties involved in a violent attack on an innocent school boy. In the locker room, at Nevada Union High School, a smaller sized boy was psychically beaten up as others sat back and videotaped and encouraged the fight (Massie, 2012). Yet, after Mathiesen got wind of this incident, he made it clear that not only the bully, but the students videotaping this fight would be reprimanded (Massie, 2012). This is exactly what all schools need to do. People who watch these violent acts are the ones fueling the fire. Holding bystanders accountable for these actions along with the bullies, may help stop incidents like these from happening at school; however, parents need to closely watch and be held accountable for what their children are doing outside of school. By understanding where the issue of bullying currently stands, along with what has already been done to help stop it, we can now try and predict what the future for bullying holds. Taking a glance over history and how bullying has progressed, it seems that this issue will continue to expand. With the new technology that is underway, along with what is currently booming, attempting to stop children from harassing others seems impossible. What makes catching these behaviors so difficult are the many venues that are used to pick on others including: email, text, chat rooms, mobile phones, mobile phone cameras, and web sites. Trying to keep up with current technology, let alone trying to identify bullying behaviors, can be very overwhelming. That said, the more that administrators go searching to find what their students are up to, the more these behaviors will be hidden. One of the unintended and unidentified consequences of trying to put pressure on kids who bully others is that they will just use other means to harass their peers. However, the future remains unknown for this area as more people are locked down in their houses. All bullies have at home is the internet, I would advice reporting any nasty messages or comments, blocking bullies and deleting these messages for mental sanity.
To conclude, it would be naive of me to say that bullying in all areas of life will completely stop. Bullying is a primal ego promoting tool that has been with us I presume since the beginning of the age of humankind. Even with the collection of programs, laws, and efforts to stop bullying, bullying will always be a major issue within our school systems and other spheres of life. However, the most important factor to help the bullying issue among adolescents and workplaces is for administrations to strictly enforce anti-bullying rules while gaining all the support they can get from the communities within those domains. With schools taking ownership of this growing problem and persistently pushing forward to make a difference, they will be moving in the right direction to help bring peace and safety back to the school yards, as for the other areas of life I cannot say. Overall, to go past the bullying era of humankind it will take a shift in consciousness towards love and connection, awareness, healing, good home environments and mentors. Keep raising the awareness and do not remain silent. Remember you are not alone.
And finally, here are some quotes to think about:
“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” – Theodore Roosevelt
“People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.” – Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
Thank you for stopping by to read this guest post. Let me know in the comments what you think the future of bullying will entail..