Cyber Bullying: Tormenting Real Lives

With the advancement in technology, everyone has a smart phone, tablet or the latest laptops today. But with all the technological advancement, we not only lack social engineering in our lives but also have redefined our needs and wants for survival.

Back in the 90s when there was no internet, it was rather easy to socialize with the human touch in the absence of the virtual world, but with the concept of this virtual universe through internet and digital screens, we’re updated with the world by a mere touch. Just as technological advancement with respect to electronic gadgets has a million advantages, they also have mile long disadvantages.
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Cyber Bullying is one of the leading crimes in the world today. As India was said to be a country with one of the highest viewers and consumers of pornography, cyber crime in India is no less. In fact, cyber child pornography has also been sparingly prevalent in India.

According to a survey conducted by McAfee Anti Virus, among 500 children and 496 parents in 10 cities in India, 12% of children admitted to being victims of cyber bullying or online intimidation, 20% of parents are however unaware of the existence of cyber bullying and 42% of children do not even open up about their online activities to their parents. As much as information is on our fingertips and internet is as cheap at Re.1 on our phones, we shouldn’t forget that there are piles of junk and unwanted material on the same internet which provides us information for school, college and work assignments. With children as young as 4 or 5 years old who have access to social media, pornographic website and other junk filled internet sites, why has parenting becoming a part time job today? Why has day care become a flourishing business and why are parents washing their hands off from the responsibility towards their kids?
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According to Psychological Research and Theories, a child should not be sent to school until they are 5 or 6 years old. But day care centres take in children from even less than a year old.

It is funny how times are changing yet our mentalities remain stagnant in stupid traditions and rituals that have been scientifically proven wrong and pointless. Cyber Bullying may seem to have contributed to just a small percentage of crimes in India, but it is still prevalent. However, it is much dangerous when it’s virtual. Cyber Bullying includes cyber stalking, defamation, impersonation, trickery, harassment, denigration and flaming. As dangerous as it sounds, the governments of several countries have also introduced cyber crime departments in the police forces which have made crimes a lot lesser. But just as there are numerous ways in which rules can be broken, cyber crimes and cyber bullying still seems to be prevalent in the world.

In a country where 40% of its population live under the poverty line, India is ranked 3 in the world on the Global Cyber Bullying list after China and Singapore. So, what are we, as daily internet users doing to help reduce this enormous rate?

As a daily internet and gadget user, one of the most important things to keep in mind is, trusting humans might be hard, but trusting virtual beings are harder. According to the Indian Penal Code, provisions can be read with section 441, which deals with offences related to Criminal trespass and runs as follows: Whoever enters into or upon property in the possession of another with intent to commit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession of such property , or having lawfully entered into or upon such property, unlawfully remains there with intent thereby to intimidate , insult or annoy any such person, or with an intent to commit an offence, is said to commit criminal trespass.

If the cyber stalking is done only to annoy the victim and is not resulted to serious offences like severe defamation, sexual crimes, identity theft or even grave crimes like terrorism, it is treated as a bail-able offence.

As citizens of everyday internet users, this is not the end of cyber crimes, but with the help of the available resources, this can be reduced and can be executed even at a very basic level. Using the internet with integrity and utilization of privacy settings on social media makes a big difference in an individual’s life. Having supervised and appropriate use of the internet by the children also makes an oceanic difference.

However, having stronger laws in the government that can be implemented may also proscribe cyber stalkers and bullies from executing these insensitively criminalized acts. However, victims of cyber bullying and other forms of cyber crimes can either go to the legal authorities for filing complaints or they can seek help from responsible adults before events get worse online. This might be a few safe ways in which we can reduce or rather prevent cyber bullying in our lives.

So, if you’re a victim of cyber bullying or are hinted at other cyber crimes, it’s alright to speak to your parents and other responsible adults about it before it gets harder and worsens. No matter how decayed or deteriorated an issue might be, it’s never too late to speak up and ask for help. If you’re worried about reputation in the society or among one’s family, then don’t. That’s something one should be least bothered about. It’s alright to speak up and ask for help, because you will receive it before it’s too late to turn back and regret.

Sonia David is an aspiring Counselling Psychologist pursing her post graduation in Psychology. She is a writer with a pinch of sarcasm and wit who loves writing about social and feminist issue. The ignorance and the insensitive attitude of people towards these issues motivate her and fire her up to act against the same, so she is passionate about writing. She has met many people, heard several stories and is a storyteller through her writing skills. She is also a Zentangle Artist as she finds it relaxing and soothing. She also loves travelling and someday she wishes to travel all around the country and help be a change in shifting the patriarchal mentality.