Great blog entry from Danah on the subject. Below are my take-aways. One of the points that really connects is the need to strip the catch-all concepts (cyberbullying) and break them down into their component parts, using language our teens use.
That means, of course, that we, as "adults learners," have to be willing to listen to our teens, decode what they are saying, and encourage forgiveness and communication. Hmm...is such a state of affairs the human condition, an affliction? No doubt...certainly we can rise above our biology?
technology is not radically changing what’s happening; it’s simply making what’s happening far more visible. If we want to combat bullying, we need to start by understanding the underlying dynamics. And we need to approach interventions with an evaluation-based mindset. We won’t know how to stop bullying and no amount of legislation requiring education is going to do squat until we actually find intervention mechanisms that work. And that starts with understanding what’s happening.
blame the person and see what they’re doing as retaliation. None of this is communicated, of course, so things can quickly spiral out of control without anyone really knowing where it all began.
They don’t see what they’re doing as bullying.
need is to understand the situation from each other’s perspective
and to have empathy for how the other experiences what’s unfolding.
Combating bullying is not going to be easy, but it’s definitely not going to happen if we don’t dive deep in the mess that underpins it and surrounds it. Lectures by uncool old people like me aren’t going to make teens who are engaged in dramas think twice about what they’re doing. And, for that matter, using the term “bullying” is also not going to help at all either. We need interventions that focus on building empathy, identifying escalation, and techniques for stopping the cycles of abuse. We need to create environments where young people don’t get validated for negative attention and where they don’t see relationship drama as part of normal adult life.