Eliminate from Within

Posted: October 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

There are a number of ways in which out society as a whole can fight back against cyber bullying to eliminate it. One way that I thought was brilliant was by empowering teenagers themselves to be agents of change. The actions taken by these agents of change need not necessarily be radical.

Pacer National Bullying Prevention Center is one organization that sees teenagers as instrumental in interrupting or preventing bullying of any sort. They have started a movement called WE WILL Generation that harnesses the influence peers can have on one another. The tactics the movement employs are geared towards teens interrupting face to face cyber aggression, but none the less, can be utilized to combat cyber conflict.

WE WILL Reach Out is one of the methods the movement advocates. It encourages youth to offer support and kindness to peers they are aware are victims of bullying. One way of doing so is by being there for them to  eliminate some of the isolation that goes along with being a victim of bullying. Many students that find themselves to be targets of cyber aggression feel that no one know what they are going through and they are the only ones. Oftentimes, victims of bullying keep the torment to themselves for various reasons, like fear of backlash or embarrassment. Just like what is commonly seen in domestic abuse cases when that one good friend convinces the battered to get help, one teen could encourage another to do the same.

WE WILL Reach Out also trains teenagers to build up their peers. It is dangerous when an individual is suffering from low self esteem, low self-worth and low self confidence. When someone does not value themselves there is no telling what types of things they could do to themselves or allow to be done to themselves. Now add bullying into the equation which tends to tear down one’s self esteem. The movement encourages building up anther’s peers in various ways such as talking with them during breaks, including them in conversations and inviting them to various outings. I think positive reinforcement from a peer has a different meaning than that from an adult. Adolescence is an insecure time fro everyone and being able to connect to your peers is important.

A third aspect of the WE WILL campaign is what the center calls “Turn a 180”. This involves redirecting a conversation that has taken a negative turn into a positive direction to deescalate bullying. The same can apply via social media. Social media is all about building new relationships,establishing new ones or just finding creative forms of self expression.  Just as hurtful words can be easily sprawled across one’s Facebook page, so too can words that deflect hatred.

As earlier stated, what better way to combat conflict than to enlist the help of  individuals within the community. In this case, teenaged students.

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