ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • School & Classroom Etiquette & Social Skills

Bullying: A Primal Instinct That Needs a Modern Solution

Updated on April 4, 2013
Kids connect through technology
Kids connect through technology | Source

In the beloved “Back to the Future” film series, the audience sees, at different times in space and time, both George and his son Marty McFly become the victims of Biff’s bullying and harassment. In movies the good guy (almost) always wins. So, in the end the audience is treated to the sight of Biff in his rightful place, waxing the McFlys’ cars.

But in reality, sometimes the bully does win and the results can be horrific and devastating. Clearly some forms of bullying have been around a long time. But is modern bullying getting worse?

The More Things Change

In our modern world everything happens quickly and we’ve gotten used to that. We get our food fast and our information even faster. We speed down the road or use high speed mass transportation. Technology is changing monthly if not weekly. Phones and computers are already outdated by the time we purchase them. In a world of instant everything, our connection with each other has become more and more tangled. We check our phones, computers or tablets when we first get up and when we’re heading to bed. The smart phone we carry in our pockets has more capability than the computers most of us were using just ten years ago.

The More They Stay The Same

Bullies are certainly not a modern phenomenon. According to a 2011 Scientific American article, bullying has its origins in our very evolutionary biology. In the article, Hogan Sherrow defines bullying as a form of intimidation and notes that “bullying itself is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history and predates our own species.”

Sherrow asserts that human bullying has evolved partly because of our ability to convey more complicated and abstract ideas through language. Through this ability, bullying has become a deep-rooted part of our culture.

Bullying is a primal instinct.
Bullying is a primal instinct. | Source

So why does the bullying problem seem to be more intense now than a decade or two ago? Is it just public perception? Are we getting better awareness and better coverage of the issue?

Technology As A Weapon

But Dr. Bonnie Lynn Wright notes that, while bullying may not be as prevalent, technology broadens a bully’s audience and allows him or her to “remain anonymous and therefore free from any retribution at all.”

And technology does seem to be the issue. Stories of kids facing bullying in school and then coming home to face harassment on social networks are constantly making news. Before our 24/7 world, the victim would get a break when he was away from school, in the safety of his home. But now, unless the victim is willing to forgo most social media, he is likely facing a bully all day, every day.

Social media can spread rumors and gossip more quickly than ever before. Suddenly a Facebook status is seen by hundreds rather than a whisper in the school yard heard by a few.

We are constantly connected
We are constantly connected | Source

Media Hype

Nick Gillespie asserts in his April 2012 article from the Wall Street Journal that bullying is not more prevalent now than it ever was. He blames over-protective, helicopter parents and media hype for the bullying phenomenon we hear so much about today. Gillespie notes statistics that show that bullying is actually on the decline. He seems to believe that media coverage plays a part in the over sensationalizing of the stories.

Can It Be Stopped?

So what do we do? How do we prevent or stop the constant bullying via our technologically connected world? There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer about how to make it stop. Sherrow (2011) believes that anti-bullying programs don’t work because they fail to get at the root of the problem which is the deeply biological and primal nature of bullying.

Other organizations such as stopcyberbullying.org suggest that the victim should step away from the computer to give the bully less opportunities to harass.

But asking the victim to give up any or most social networking in a world that is increasingly dependent on it seems unfair. In a way then, the bullies' use of intimidation has produced the desired result of forcing the person to change their habits and choices.

No Easy Answers

I don’t think there is an easy answer to modern bullying. As a bookworm and an introvert, I sometimes faced harassment and teasing in school because of my differences. A strong family, especially a mother who would take the time to listen, got me through it. But I realize that I was lucky.

While bullying is not a new phenomenon, the evolution of bullying via technology is just beginning. Figuring out a way to stop it should be a priority.

Have you ever been bullied?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)