Defense as an Offense
Proper use of the internet and a better understanding of the importance of privacy settings could also help internet users improve their overall internet experiences as well. Every social media site gives users the ability to block other users. Infact, every electronic device designed to promote communication also allows its owner to completely disconnect from other devices numbers and accounts. A simple Google search will teach a person how to put up a protective wall to keep out the fiery arrows of incoming messages. Many victims, however, have expressed they feel that if they block their abusers or delete their accounts, they feel that the bullies will have “won”.
An email from Justin Patchin, a representative of Cyberbullying Research Center said,
“Many students who are targeted do in fact block users or take a break from social media, but often this is only a temporary solution…. because if you block one account, the person doing the bullying can just create a new one. You'd just just have to keep blocking as new accounts are created.”
He also said that victims should not have to miss out on valuable uses of social media just because they are being targeted. He emphasised that if the victim didn’t do anything wrong they should not have to make the adjustment. “Basically the one who is bullying wins then.” Win or lose, however, it is all in a matter of perspective.
A bullying situation is about a power struggle. Who holds power all about perspective. Blocking a bully could be seen as letting the bully “win”, but , as any successful sports team knows, a strong defence is always a key to winning. A Spartan warrior walks behind a shield when he is being shot at in battle, how different is putting up a few barriers when entering the war zone that is the internet?
Victims may feel that they “lose” if they block a bully because the bully has enough power that they need to be blocked. In the same situation one could say that the victim has all the power. Because now that the bully is blocked, no matter what they do they can no longer torment the former victim. The situation is the same, but the perspective is different. Support groups should be created to train and help victims cultivate this type of attitude within themselves. Private internet accounts can also protect children from not only bullies but online predators and other internet dangers as well. If kids are taught at a young age to recognize, avoid, and deal with these issues in a way that gives them more power they will be able to see these conflicts are conquerable and come out victorious.