Hands up anyone who was bullied in school. Hands up anyone who felt relief when they left the school yard at the end of the day. Yep, thought so, that would be most of you. Of course, for many adults who were lucky enough to grow up before the emergence of mobile phones, they could leave the school yard bullies at school, and had some relief, but with the increase in mobile uptake and cyber bullying, that’s much harder to do. People tend to glue to their phones. And there is a fear of missing out (FOMO) if you don’t have your mobile phone by your side at all times.
Some would say that mobile phones increased the rate at which people bullied are in high school. However, I would have to disagree with that. I don’t think that mobile phones are the cause of bullying. I would have to say that people are just more accessible, so although it seems like there are higher rates of bullying because of the emergence of mobile phones, there actually aren’t. It’s just much harder to escape the bullies than it used to be.
You see, in the past, you could leave school and the bullies couldn’t touch you. They’d need to ring your home phone number, where it is likely they would get your parents. Your parents would naturally “screen” the phone call, and decide who would be able to speak to you. With the advent of mobile phones, if someone wants to bully you then that is much easier because mobiles are more private. They are personal devices and it’s unlikely that you share the content. Unless, if you are force to by someone, such as your parents.
In many ways, school rules and regulations are catching up with mobile bullying.
In the past, if someone was to bully you, you would know who they were and have their full name. Being caught is very hard to escape from. Nowadays sim cards are interchangeable and people can easily switch to a different sim card. Hiding their identity will allow them and save themselves from prosecution.
There have been many reports of bullied people and their bullies not being caught. Of course, mobile phone companies are becoming smarter with how they deal with things. They now require identification when activating a new sim card – at least in Australia this is the case anyway.
That makes it much harder for the bullies to target their victims.
Another step that people can take is to block people from contacting them on their mobile. This is easier said than done though. People have a mentality where they want to know what people are saying to them and want to reply. Even when it’s negative, they still want to know.
Mobile phones aren’t the cause of bullying though. They’re just the method by which people target individuals. Mobile phone companies and ISPs are becoming much smarter. They have started actively banning people from using their services if they breach the terms and conditions. Often of which include decency and non harassment.