The era of digitalization has brought with it a lot of blessings. Distance no longer seems daunting when you can Skype and chat with loved ones from far away. Research is just a press of a few keys, poring over thousands of books is no longer needed. Shopping, for those who hate it, used to be a time-consuming errand, together with fast online account verification during the checkout and payments.
Now, a click of a button and merchandise is sent on your way. Travelling to new places is more fun since you likely won’t get lost with all the GPS enabled devices and applications. But along with the blessing, it is a curse; the curse of improperly using this new technology which brings the risk of fraud, identity theft, cyber bullying and even suicide.
Internet and Anonymity
When you use the computer and the Internet, there is a sense of anonymity. Like you can do what you want and not worry about consequences because no one knows you out there in the big World Wide Web. Bashing others for their beliefs, criticizing people for the pictures they have uploaded, stealing information just because it’s out there.
These are all happening and people don’t care because no one knows them anyway. Cyber bullying has become a serious issue and it is causing problems with those not prepared for what the web brings. It used to be that bullying just happens in person but technology has allowed it that you can be bullied even with oceans separating you.
The Need to Belong
What has not changed with the development of the digital world is the need to belong or fit in. That is why the development of social media platforms has been well-accepted among the people. This is just another way to show people who is the popular one in a crowd and who is not. Just look at the difference between the number of friends one has on social media and in real life. People would think more friends and more likes mean they are popular when in real life they don’t know half of the people on their friends’ list.
Social Media and Suicide
Most social media accounts belong to teenagers. They are the ones who show the most need of fitting in. Unfortunately, this is also the age where they are most impressionable, when every comment is taken to heart. No wonder most social media related suicides also belong in this age group. Children can be mean and still get away with it because they can hide behind the cloak of obscurity. Calling someone fat or ugly on the Internet is more dangerous than calling someone the same things in person. When they tell you bad things in person, you can deck them to ease the pain.
The same can’t be said about the Internet. Mostly, you suffer the bullying alone with no one to comfort and protect you, which might lead to depression that sometimes ends with more serious repercussions like suicide.
The age of digitalization is upon us and unlike the stone age or the dark ages, there is no moving past it. The bullying will continue and cyber crimes can become more rampant unless a dedicated intervention is done. Being involved in the children’s lives is necessary if we don’t want them to end up as the next victim of social media related suicide.