The New Age Bully
The Dictionary defines a bully as “a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people” and the act of Bullying as “to be loudly arrogant and overbearing; to act the bully toward; intimidate; domineer”. I am sure in whatever time we have lived on this planet we have all seen some kind of bullying – either been bullied, seen some being bullied or worst have bullied someone just because we could.
The most common form of bullying is seen among children. I have seen preschoolers with an aggressive domineering nature, which could be the first learning step in the school of how to be bullies. This is what leads to bullying in the controlled school or college environment, where the group of kids perceived to be stronger, more popular or just the ones with the most clout try to put down the others because they are different. In its worst form this kind of bullying manifests itself as Ragging or Mobbing with disastrous results.
Physical bullying is the only kind we can recognise easily, the verbal and the emotional is recognised but not acknowledged. The child bully graduates to the office bully who is a co worker, a Team Leader, a Manager who is hell bent on making your life hard at work. The Mobs and the Trolls all begin with experiences of bullying or being bullied as a child. Being a socially recognised class of people that people acknowledge but do not stop, gives the bullies the power to do what they want and ruin a person’s life professionally, socially and even personally.
Let us spare a thought for the victims here. I have been bullied as a kid. At that age it is very difficult to understand why things are happening. What started as competition between classmates, escalated quickly to a show of strength and power, and slowly the time came when attacks were made to tarnish my image and reputation. I was left friendless wondering why I was alone, and more than anything what made me deserve all the negativity thrown my way. After all when an entire mob of people are doing or saying something, it makes you think that it is your fault, so I won’t blame the others who believed them. The damage it did to my childhood and confidence was irreparable and took me years to build back what was destroyed within minutes of a rumour.
While, these bullies are usually arrogant and narcissistic people who try to dominate others, the behaviour can also stem from a place of envy, shame or low self esteem. Bullies thrive on power, and that is what victimising and spreading fear does, it gives them an opportunity to dominate.Honestly I think the bully and the bullied both lose something, everything there is an act of bullying. That is why parents and authorities need to be more alert and sensitive towards acts of bullying.I think the bully and the bullied both lose something. Click To Tweet
What scares me though is that with the advent of the internet bullying has taken on a whole new shape and form. Gone is the need for the bully and bullied to physically be present in one place, and the yet impact that is created can resonate a hundred fold across the distance. You see I think the internet has helped create the perfect bullies or as we sometimes know them Trolls. The Cyber Bully knows it all and has access to your life like no other bully can. A conversation shared in private can be put on public records, a statement made years ago under different circumstances can be misquoted. Or better yet, they can create some kind of a poster, a meme, a picture, or share an embarrassing video over the internet. Once the Video goes Viral, the life of the bullied can change forever.
It is very easy for people to make others beg, grovel and cry for their own profit or pleasure. Better still if they can shame in public, it helps them get a sense of self esteem. It is not like no one makes mistakes, but once your mistake is put out on a platform for everyone to see, the sense of embarrassment can cause a lot of pain. The Internet is the perfect place to turn into a bully, the sense of achievement is greater and the impact is higher.The Internet is the perfect place to turn into a bully, the sense of achievement is greater and the… Click To Tweet
That is why it is easier to become the trolls over internet because of the anonymity it provides and yet the impact it creates. Social Media is the perfect hangout for the New Age Bully and it generates the perfect target too. With a sense of detachment that comes with the physical distance and a sense of investment in ease of ability to stalk someone online bullying over the internet is the easiest way of harassing someone. The impact it causes can be eventful and regrettable. So next time, before sharing a picture, video or status update, think am I a bully too!The impact bullying causes can be eventful and regrettable. Click To Tweet