Wanted: New Solutions
One infinite truth is that hate exists and it is not likely to fade away on its own. More research needs to be done, but that research needs to concentrate on empowering victims. Cyberbullying, just like ‘live’ bullying is about power.
There is so little professional research done on this topic that much of the research that has been published remarks that there is not enough professional research. In fact, of the thousands of books on the shelves of the BYU-Hawaii Joseph F. Smith library, only one physical book is dedicated to the topic of cyberbullying. That book is also reported lost. The little research that has been done is focused on the narrow idea that kids can only solve bullying by handing the problem over to adults or by being rescued by bystanding peers.
Therefore, more research and attention needs to attend to how victims can successfully cope with and combat cyber-bullying themselves, thus gaining back control from the bullies who seek to take it from them. The need of internet literacy is growing and not being met. After better research is conducted, children could be given access to safety and personal empowerment lessons early on in their schooling. Because every situation is different, kids need to feel like they have power to take control of a situation. The idea is not to teach kids that they are alone in their fight, but to teach kids skills to make them less susceptible to abuse as well as empower them so they don’t feel ashamed to open up to adults about their struggles if they need to. If kids are taught that they are not helpless doormats but warriors in the field they will believe it. Hate will never go away, third party saviors with not always be available. It’s time to give kids the tools to be their own heros if the need should arise.