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

22 thoughts on “The New Age Bully

  • Bulies are sad people and definitely have some emotional backlog/family issues.standing up to them is important in the real world. In cyber world I ignore trolls or block them.Haters will hate

  • I have been bullied as a child. It was horrible. It was done by a teacher and that was the worst!
    Cyber bullying is a little more subtle. I think I have withdrawn into a shell even more so over the past few months after experiencing it first-hand on facebook. Oh! It was subtle alright.. polite even. but, bullying is bullying.
    I have been at peace in the past week after disabling my facebook account.

    Very strong and quite apt post Jai.

    • Sometimes even teachers make the perfect bullies. I agree, Bullying is bullying subtle or polite or whatever. Glad you found peace after such a traumatic experience. Thank You so much Pix, and you know it makes my heart so happy to see you here 🙂

  • Totally adore your writing skills and appreciate for writing on such a big issue .
    Yes bullying turns into ragging and many times ragging leads to suicide so this should be stopped .

    Keep writing !

    • Dixita, thank you for stopping by and for that wonderful compliment. Bullying is not going anywhere as long as there are people. I do hope that they realise the impact of their actions.

  • I have faced it in school, and I had lost my faith in friends. Three years I stayed ‘friendless’ and I had given up on making new friends. Yes, it took me ages to understand that my world did not end at them, but it was a long time. But I am happy with the way I came out of it. Today I understand compassion and sincerity more than anything else.

  • Oh this is a tough one. No matter how hard it was to handle bullying when we were kids it’s harder to see your kids being bullied and it does happen all the while. The trickiest part is how and when, we as parents, should intervene. As for cyber bullying – the Internet is just so perfect for the trolls. They can get away with almost anything since most people aren’t bothered with verifying what they read or see on the Net. It’s sad, really and we do need to figure out a way to handle this.

    • Yes, I agree. It is so hard to watch your kid being bullied. My entire train of thought started with one such experience of S being bullied and the struggle I had to go through deciding whether to intervene or not. As far as internet trolls go, I think right now the easiest way to stop them is not feed their drama.

  • Though bullying has been around, cyber bullying is becoming intolerable. because, it is difficult to reply to so many of them attacking at once. I have seen, they also post continuously as if they are on some high. Crazy people. They really spoil the fun of internet.

    • Yes I agree Lata, it is difficult, but like the others have pointed out sometimes it is easier to ignore these bullies rather than feed into their drama.

  • yeah. very well written post, Jb. I agree. it’s not fun to be the victim of a bully either. there was one in particular during school days, and it made me sink into my shell more in those days, I guess. and it took me a long time to come out of that. even cyber bullies too, have been there. have seen one hound one of my friends, and then come at me too. as many have already said, cyber bullying won’t go away either. the safety of the mask, I suppose. it’s sad. and another reason not to make our lives completely virtual.
    Vins recently posted…AaliyahMy Profile

    • The amount of bullying these days is increasing and taking various forms. But having virtual lives is a essential these days. So I think we need to learn to deal with it and combat it better.

  • Bullying has been around for ever – and will continue to be; that’s perhaps the ugly truth. I’m sure even our predecessors and neanderthals have had to put up with bullying. And of course, with technology, it’s just made everything a lot easier – plus it gives those bullies the security of being anonymous (at least initially).
    The best (And perhaps only) solution is to be equipped to handle the bullies and teach our kids to do the same too.
    Sid recently posted…Odd man out: Confessions of a #SAHDMy Profile

    • I guess bullying is an accepted form of behavior. I know some parents even think that this will help toughen the children up. I think, teaching ourselves and our kids to handle bullies might be the only way. I wont call it a solution because people will still suffer, but it is something.

  • As a preschooler, I was bullied a lot by my classmates and I don’t know if that has anything to do with how shy I am to this day. Like you said, it takes a while for a person to rebuild their self confidence etc.
    It’s a lot worse online, because anyone with a fake ID/pic is just waiting to get offended and pounce on you. It’s like you can’t breathe without these people turning it ugly. I am worried because I’ve heard cases of teenage suicides because of cyber bullying. I feel so helpless, to be honest; it’s not safe for our kids at all.
    Sreesha recently posted…Artists on the BoulevardMy Profile

    • At least when we are bullied physically, we know who we are dealing with. It makes it easier to rebuild. Online makes anonymity easier. I fear for the kids, it is not safe at all. And God Forbid, if they are bullied, picking up the pieces will be harder, because of the impact and reach an online bully can create.

  • Bullying is never going away, unfortunately. The methods will continue to evolve. While children are vulnerable to bullying especially physical bullying at school and in the playgrounds. Cyber bullying is also distressful and something to be taken seriously. I had experienced it and had hit our against it. I guess blocking the bully can help restore sanity but it is a scary scenario alright. The anonymity and sometimes the physical distance gives the bullies strength.

    • The thing about cyber Bullying is, it is easy for anyone to bully anyone, and creating multiple accounts or fake accounts is so easy. Actually anyone who has an online presence is an easy target of a cyber bully.

  • Cyber bullying is real and not going away any time soon. Despite our best efforts it will happen, even if we are the kindest people in person. Best bet is to build up our reserves, stand firm and allow our character to speak for itself. Tough call but a necessary one.

    We also need to equip our kids to handle this from an early stage and I do it regularly with Gy. Hope it has an impact.
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Break the rulesMy Profile

    • Sadly true, I have come to the same conclusion about Bullying in general. this post started with S being bullied around. And I remembered how hard it was for me, it is necessary to toughen up, difficult but necessary. I hope I can equip my son better, and I fear if I have to worry about bullying at this age, the path is only going to get tougher.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: