Today in really, really sad news, kids these days would apparently rather endure cyberbullying than not have a smartphone or laptop, Ireland’s Independent reports.
The theory belongs to Dr. Conor McGuckin, an assistant professor in education psychology at Trinity College, Dublin. According to Dr. McGuckin, who spoke at a recent Cyber-Ethics Public Forum, kids are often scared to report cases of cyberbullying to their parents because they don’t want them to confiscate their smartphones, tablets and laptops. Instead, they’d rather suffer the torment in silence.
“To understand cyberbullying, we need to understand the fundamental characteristics of traditional bullying,” Dr. McGuckin is quoted as saying. “But we also need to understand the separate, and thorny, issues that are related to the law, technology, marketing, and the modern lives of children and young people.”
It makes us long for the days when the worst a bully could do was steal your Crazy Bones and Pokemon Cards.
Mr. McGuckin also offered up tips for parents on what to do if their child is keeping quiet about cyberbullying. He reportedly recommended that parents admit their own lack of understanding about social media, because that’ll help foster a more open dialogue. He also suggesting initiating the conversation during a car ride, because kids hate making eye contact and most other forms of human interaction.
On the bright side, Ireland appears to be taking cyberbullying super seriously — like, almost as seriously as Lady Gaga. At the end of March, the Irish government declared that all schools in Ireland were required by law to implement official anti-bullying policies — including rules applying specifically to cyberbullying.
Still, it would be great if teens could figure out how not to be such terrible monsters in the first place.