Age of Cyber Bullying

Posted on 04/28/2014 by John Poland CEO, Town Hall Foundation

From the Age of Aquarius to the Age of Cyber Bullying, one of many generational divides between grandparents and today’s children. In the 60-70’s children didn’t have the technology tools of today. They struggled without cell phones, laptops, tablets, CD’s, iPods, and other devices that use the technology of today.

But, today our children are being bombarded by the Over-The-Top-Lyrics of music artists who are more content on making money rather than paying attention to the impact their music has on children. In the Wingood and DiClemente study, 500 adolescent girls were followed for a one year time period. The study groups were evenly divided and the control group listened to music that would be approved by the THF. The other group listened to music that would earn the THF Stamp of Shame.

The second group of adolescent girls were three times more likely to have hit a teacher; more than two-and-a-half times more likely to have been arrested; twice as likely to have had multiple sexual partners and more than one-and-a-half times greater to have contracted a new sexual disease than those subjects with lower exposure during the study time-frame. Listening to Over-The-Top lyrics caused behavior changes: BRAINWASHING occurred. The direct Cause and Effect was indisputable, bad lyrics led to bad behavior.

So why are we surprised when adolescents use the very technology that has brainwashed them to act out and Cyber Bully their peers? As an example: Reymundo and Shellie Esquivel are filing a lawsuit against six of their teenage daughter’s schoolmates and their parents, alleging that the students created an Instagram account aimed at humiliating her and fellow classmates. “When we opened up the web page on Instagram, we opened up Pandora’s box. There was a picture of her and all these vulgar postings of her underneath the photograph.”

Some pictures on the account were normal and taken right from the pages of the victims accounts, like the Esquivels’ daughter, a high school sophomore, but the page also featured explicit photos of other children. "Some of them were topless photos of females, bottomless photos of males."

When parents finally understand that they might be libel for civil suits for negligence, maybe they will wake up and offer coaching and counseling on the use of the Internet with their children.

That’s the message for today, more coming.