Progressive societies make sure citizens enjoy self-dignity and are safe from unwarranted harassment. It’s no surprise that even the U.S. Constitution bars the government from unnecessary intrusion into the private lives of the citizens. But unfortunately, sometimes the dignity of private citizens is not harmed by the government but by their fellow citizens. One of the social costs of internet has been cyber bullying. Cyber bullying should be eliminated because it doesn’t only impose social but also economic costs on the society.
Cyber bullying should be eliminated because it is often targeted at some of the most vulnerable members of the society such as our children. Children who are victims of cyber bullying are sometimes unable to cope with the resulting humility and stress and are even forced to take extreme steps such as suicide. Bullying was a problem even before the invention of internet but internet has only worsened the situation as it makes it possible to harass victims round-the-clock. Every child has a right to grow up in a hospitable environment but cyber bullies create hostile environment for the victims and make it harder for the victims to pursue activities that lead to personal growth.
Cyber bullying doesn’t only affect children and is limited to academic environments but may also exist at workplaces. Cyber bullying, thus, imposes negative costs on the society because the victims may suffer from low productivity and may also be unable to realize their true potential. In addition, the threat of cyber bullying may also prevent victims from speaking against unethical activities within the organization. Cyber bullying may also be targeted at individuals from minority groups, contributing to persistent inequality at workplaces. This is why the society should take immediate steps to eliminate cyber bullying because not only it imposes economic costs on the society but also prevents the society from achieving workplace equality.
Cyber bullying should also be tackled on a priority basis because internet will continue to erode our privacy and the issue of cyber bullying should be dealt with before it becomes too complex to deal with. The change in social attitudes often requires education and sometimes even regulations. Regulations are not bad if the expected benefits are greater than the potential costs. Schools should take steps to educate children because many cyber bullies often do not see the similarities between face-to-face bullying which may even involve use of force and cyber bullying. Similarly, the government could make laws which would force schools to actively monitor signs of cyber bullying and take corrective measures accordingly.
We have a responsibility to guide our children who sometimes underestimate the consequences of their actions and are not mature enough to effectively deal with a problem when they may be the victim. Internet technologies are still in infancy, thus, the costs of eliminating cyber bullying will be lower. In addition, the benefits to the society will be enormous if social attitudes towards cyber bullying could be dramatically changed.