There was a point in time, where we were all on a level playing field when we were first learning about the World Wide Web. It may have been a brief moment, but it was there. Since then we have all adopted various technologies and taken different approaches to how we integrate digital into our lives. Over the years, this communication medium has evolved yet again into what we call Web 2.0 – also known as the “participatory web”. Greater functionality combined with easy user interface has caused an upsurge of content that is being posted, shared, tweeted, and liked within our vast social networks.
There is a special group of people however, a generation of people who are growing up online. A first of their kind, we need to pay close attention to their digital etiquette and online behaviour as it is not as simple as keeping an eye on them in the school yard or having an ear on the slumber party that is happening in the next room.
Cyberbullying is an extreme example poor digital etiquette, and the phenomenon amongst school age kids and teenagers has caught parents, teachers and media by shock and surprise. It has gone way beyond your typical playground teasing and the amount of youth that are affected by Cyberbullying is astounding. Watch this short video for a few statistics about Cyberbullying is and its implications for today’s youth
Understanding that our online and offline environments can impact your life in real-time is one of the most important lessons we can impart on this generation. We grew up with the notion that sticks and stones will hurt, but words won’t hurt us; this is no longer the case as words are the most powerful weapon for a Cyberbully.