I’m trying to care

And yet I can’t seem to bring myself to care that 1 in 3 US children have been “cyberbullied”.  To me, this seems like it’s a symptom of the knee-pad-helmet-overprotective parenting that is so common these days.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is trying to draw attention to how U.S. adolescents are affected by e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging, blog postings and other electronic communications.

I do not get what the big fat hairy deal is.  Kids are going to get bullied, whether it’s over the internet or in the real world, kids are going to be vicious little animals to one another a lot of the time.  Sure, the comforting anonymity of the internet makes it easier to call someone names; but bullying is bullying.

Kids are going to be mean to each, and they’re going to exclude one another.  It is what kids do.  Instead of having the gubbmit worry about “cyber bullies”, maybe someone ought to worry about the parents that are letting their kids run around unsupervised on the internet.


  1. Bullying is not something you should just shrug off, Ahab. Yes, shit is going to happen, but that doesn’t mean it should be tolerated.

    Or should we shrug off murder, because it’s going to happen anyway?

  2. Bullying != murder.

    Bullying is to be expected; dealing with bullies and mean people develops valuable character traits in children. I’m not saying that you should intentionally expose kids to bullying, but the world is not a nice place and the sooner people learn that, the better off they’re going to be.

  3. An interesting angle to this factors in to why society is affraid of guns.

    There have been a few times when I guess I could say I was “Cyber Bullied” (jesus I can’t even type it with a straight face…) I solved it either by comming up with a solution (either by speaking rationally with the “bully” or with some sort of “OP” or Moderator about the problem) or I just “Walked away” I left that forum or chatroom, never to return again.

    How does this tie into guns? Well I’d assume that the same people that those easy solutions elude, would hack or confront in real space the bully if they had the means to do so, but since most of us aren’t hackers or have the ability to track IPs down to a physical street address, we are “Powerless”.

    The same sheeple who think its a big deal that a forum troll is calling them a fattie, also thinks that if they had a gun they’d shoot evey last person who looked at them crosseyed, just like how they’d love to burn down trollie’s house.

    Meanwhile somebody looks at me crosseyed while I have a gun in my pocket….I walk away. Not worth the time or the effort.

    Takes a measure of maturity that the Nanny State wishes we would rid ourselfs of.

  4. Well, if you know the cyber-bully, it’s pretty damn easy to get cyber-even with them.

  5. Trolls are like flying insects; they are annoying, but not worth getting upset over. Life is too short to worry about the bugs on the windshield.

  6. Kids live a very Lord of the Flies-esque life, Ahab. Without any guidance, the culture that forms is truly barbaric, and does nothing to prepare anyone in it for anything outside it.

    Bullying is nothing to dismiss. Dealing with bullies does not grant “valuable character traits”, unless “submitting to idiot with force” counts as a valuable character trait. Most ‘authority’ figures will be apathetic at best, and outright biased in favor of the bully at worst.

    But hey, anything that reinforces the abusive hierarchical worldview, right?

  7. Unlike most people over twenty, I have neither forgotten nor romanticized away my four years in hell.

  8. Are you not familar with the current case of the girl who killed herself after being cyber bullied? It is all over the news.

  9. Actually, I blogged about that as well. My feelings are pretty well articulated – namely I don’t feel like the cyber bully should be held criminally responsible for her actions. However, that case is also different, because in it the bully in question was an adult.

  10. Kal, couldn’t agree more. Poor education is about fifth on the list of why no one should be compelled into compulsory education. I’ll draw one distinction, though: real bullying involves the availability of physical contact. Humiliation and name-calling are nasty, but they’re not bullying.

    It’s pretty clear to me that most of the cases being publicized are no more than an attempt by government jurisdictions to stake an early claim for this turf.

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