Didn’t you know everyone hated you?

Published: October 12, 2010

Technology has created new ways of harassing others.

While social networking sites may have made their founders billionaires, they have created trouble for many of their users.

Or I should say many users have created trouble for themselves and others around them. Social networking sites have become online gangster spots for many rebellious youngsters around the globe. They have even allowed  older people to act in a childish and immature way, causing problems for their families.

This week Vivek High School in India suspended 16 students for starting a thread containing vile remarks against a female teacher.  It turns out that this is not the first time someone has put themselves or someone else in trouble through the social networking sites. Cyber bullying, in particular, plunged social networking sites in controversy. It has become a concern for parents, school administrative staff and professional work places because of the way both teenagers and adults behave on the sites, causing problems for people outside the internet world. Many cyber bullying cases are emerging due to irresponsible messages and status updates that can cause psychological damage – to the extent of causing someone to commit suicide.  The statistics for this kind of occurrence are astonishing.

Although social networking sites are a recent invention, they have increased the popularity of the internet use across age groups and nationalities. Although online networking has its perks, it is also being used for personal, racial and religious attacks. It is increasingly becoming a battlefield where individuals to attack one another. The question is: could an offensive or threatening comment made by someone really have such disturbing effects on one’s psyche?

Statistically speaking, cyber bullying can sometimes cause worse emotional damage than conventional bullying, since the anonymity of the attacker leaves the victim to doubt everyone around him/her, leading to reduced confidence and the feeling of being generally disliked. Education enables people to use technology; however, the lack of moral and ethical understanding has created a culture that is intolerant of diversity. At a time when technology is making it easier to access information and connect with friends and family, it is also making life miserable for many.

This post was originally published here.


Hina Baig

A psychology student and a student ambassador at the University of West of Scotland. She is interested in humanitarian issues.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://facebook.com/sohail.taj sohail taj

    every one has right to express his/her feelings. when it comes to teachers especially in subcontinent, they’re least patient & never ready to listen anything from their students which crushes the confidence and innovation of students. having said i am not in favor of such rebellious activities, teachers should also reconsider their dictator style. Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    Cyber world can be a dangerous thing……Depends on people who use them and how they use them…….Recommend

  • Sammie

    Doing justice to your degree, are you? This is a great piece, but I think it could’ve been better with more intensity of the psychological perspectives. But having said that, I think you’ve given the perfect term ‘battlefield’. Social networking indeed has turned into a battlefield for many people. It is kind of hilarious how it’s become a matter of life and death for people who indulge into arguments over Internet. And it is a shame for people who’re sensitive to criticism and end up taking things personally. Technology is saving lives, and taking lives. Sighs!

    PS. Good piece Hina. Keep it up. Recommend

  • Shahzad S. Janjuah

    I agree with you, there should be moral values or code of conduct for it.

    Many a times, people specially the youth didn’t know what they meant in depth. They take it what it comes to them.

    Specially in case of religious or national interest matters. They take it as a battlefield.

    It’s hurting more than giving any benefit.

    As per my observation due to this reason, a child is becoming or acting like an adult, an adult like an elder person, and an elder a God.Recommend

  • Mahvesh

    Time had an excellent article on bullying-related suicides in its last issue which also discussed the cyber-bullying aspect. You also forgot to mention uploading of videos or pictures that are meant to malign people – cat fights at universities, pictures taken at parties and the sort. Maybe look up a recent distasteful drama involving a certain politician and his picture with his daughter – hypocrisy rules, in this particular case if you can get to the source. Recommend

  • Ahsan

    i find this too exagerrated to believe. “OMG everyone hates me” is no valid explaination for suicide. Bullying persists only when childeren do not have an open relasionship with thier parents or other authority figures. the underlying problem here isnt social networking and its abuses its the communication gap that is being created in our societies due to people’s personal weaknesses.Recommend

  • Subhan

    @Ahsan – The writer has provided links for you to check which do indicate that many teenage girls have committed suicide because of cyber bullying.

    Unfortunately this what happens when someone complains about getting bullied and parents or guardians never take it seriously.

    A great piece Miss Hina. You’ve managed to put the psychological perspective pretty clearly. Recommend

  • Alina

    It is such a shame how people are bullied on and off Internet. Is that what their life is worth? I blame the parents for not boosting their confidence level and for not taking it seriously when the children complain. Shame on such parents. Recommend

  • Samreen

    good piece…n this is all what is actually happening….. teenagers are nowadays using technology so badly…..not only guys but girls also!….infact it too has its pros n cons and i think parents should have to keep an eye on what their kids are doing….. chatting or (online) dating!Recommend

  • Sajid

    Online gangster spot, LOL. You’re so right about that. It’s hilarious how people argue over internet and attack others thinking they’re all that. Lol. But actually they’re all talk and no trousers. They’re online gangsters and real life losers and cowards. Too bad some naive and innocent people fall for such verbal abuse.

    Good piece overall. Recommend

  • Amina

    I just checked out the links you provided and it’s such a shame to kno how much people are effected by such losers! That’s ridiculous. Recommend

  • Sheraz

    No one deserves to get bully like this. It’s such a cruel act.Recommend

  • parvez

    Nice article. You have stated a certain problem, something not unknown or exceptional.
    What remedy would you suggest or would you say there is none and this is a social
    glitch and will work itself out.
    It would have been real nice if you had drawn a conclusion to this.Recommend

  • http://hammadmateen.wordpress.com Hammad A. Mateen

    You’ve hit the nail on the head in an eloquent manner.
    Very nice piece of writing. Recommend

  • Asim

    This is a good piece Miss Hina. I think being a student of psychology, you’re capable of more than this. I can sense it in this piece. Why don’t you write something about the psychology of social networks? I’m always very fascinated by how people are on social networks and I always want to dig in to their thoughts but always fail. I
    Hope you don’t mind me mailing you and discussing it with you, would you? I’d love to read it from a psychological perspective. Recommend

  • Ash

    Interesting post Hina. Maybe you could write a bit more about why people take social networking so seriously. Its actually kind of funny how people argue over internet like its a war that they have to win. And when it comes to foul lanugage, everyone uses it so proudly like they’re graduated in it. And some people take it so seriously. Its a shame though. I wish something could be done to prevent it :-(Recommend

  • http://www.6la8.com Confused

    58% admitted being bullied to, while 53% admit to bullying. More than one in two teens have bullied, and slightly more have been. Thats like half a class bullying the other half.

    I don’t think that’s a big deal. Being a victim of cyber bullying is much more common and will be because of the anonymity. For the same reason, bullying also proves to be easier on the internet and to be honest most of the victims of cyber bullying would also have bullied others on the internet themselves, as the high ratio makes it unlikely for it to mutually exclusive.

    The internet is still new, especially social networking. It will take some time for people to get used to the freedom it provides and with it the risks. It is only natural that such statistics will come to be seen, and people will be depressed about it initially. Ofcourse, exceptional cases are indeed present but keeping in mind the sheer number of people who use the internet such cases are extremely rare and statistically insignificant.

    Give it time and there will be immunity against cyber bullying. It just takes some getting used to.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Just to correct you, not only girls commit suicide over cyber bullying (nor has the author implied so as far as I saw). In fact, over the last few years, in the US there have been more young men committing suicide after cyber bullying (mostly harassed due to their sexual orientation).
    No disrespect, just saying! CheersRecommend

  • Hira

    A cousin of me acts normal in person but on Fb she is always posting sarcastic comments on my posts and statuses which is very annoying :(Recommend