Ultimate Bullying Solution

The World’s Finest Online Source of
Uncensored Information on
How to Stop Bullying & Cyber Bullying

Is Technology Turning Our Kids into Unfeeling Zombies?

This morning I ran across a great article from a talk given by a supervising assistant prosecutor in Ocean County, New Jersey.

In this article, Anthony Pierro takes the position that thoughts like, "boys will be boys", "girls are just nasty to each other", and "it takes tough people to make it in this world" are all mindsets that must change when it comes to bullying.

While his argument for getting rid of these kinds of thoughts when it comes to bullying is debatable – I see nothing wrong with instilling in ourselves or our children a certain degree of mental, physical and emotional toughness – it is an observation he makes deeper into the article that perked my ears up.

He mentioned that while he didn't think instances of bullying were up (they are nationwide, to the tune of 450% increase since 2007), he said that instances of children bullying and being bullied was happening younger and younger, due to technology. He stated that since kids were getting involved and using technology and younger and younger ages, they did not grasp the power of technology to harm someone.

Here is his quote,"They don't see the boy crying himself to sleep every night after being bullied. They don't know about the girl who kicks and screams about going to school because she doesn't want to picked on for another day."

I wrote in the book, "Bullies Suck" that because of the use of technology at young ages, children and teens do not develop proper levels of empathy or work ethic. When playing a video game and "shooting" targets on the screen either against the computer, one-on-one or as a team, the person playing the game does NOT see or feel what the person on the other end of the game is going through.

(Full disclosure – I love playing video games, especially the Call of Duty series on my PS3.  I don't get time to play them hardly at all anymore – running a business, being married, having a three-year old with one on the way and playing in a blues band leaves hardly any time for anything else – but when I do, I enjoy them.)

One of the tactics I see players use all the time in the team challenge or death match setting is they kill your character, then they wait for you to re-spawn (get brought back to life again) and they try to station themselves right next to where you will re-spawn, so they can kill you again before you ever have a chance to play. It is also not uncommon for an entire team to gang up on one player, relentlessly killing his character until that person leaves the game.

The problem – and the prosecutor touched on this – is that the person ganging up on the other party does not see or feel what his actions are doing to the person on the other end.  He can't see if the other person is frustrated, feeling rejected, feeling worthless or getting enraged.  He can't see what damage is being done because the person being harmed is not sitting right there, next to him, on the couch, a ball of emotion, tears and hurt.

If the other person was sitting there, you can bet that the person doing the harm would have an entirely different perspective; he would feel empathy.

Empathy – the venerable Golden Rule of "Treating others as you wish to be treated" is what empathy is all about, yet it is sadly missing in the education of many of our children. 

If we can develop empathy in ourselves and our kids, practice the Golden Rule and lead by example, we can go a long way to "Bully Proofing" our world.



P.S. – There are some great exercises in the book, "Bullies Suck" that teach empathy and how to talk to your child about how to treat others if your child is the bully.  Some who have read the book said that one chapter alone was worth the entire book.  See for yourself; click HERE to get the book…


Leave a Reply