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The existence of the internet has made life easy by getting information faster. It has benefited a whole lot of business firms and many media houses are now switching to digital media. Musicians can now directly upload their own materials on websites for the masses to download, shopping can be done through internet, etc; you name it all, it is all happening online.
The internet since its inception had an objective and that is to make life easier for earthlings and thus, it has made it easier, no doubt. However, all good things must come to an end, so do the list of good things that come with the internet. No, it's not just the easy access to porn sites or sites that psychologically hamper young minds that we list as the con, but it is something else which we are all aware of and yet maintain appalling silence which makes this a far larger tragedy than we fathom.
The problem mentioned here is online harassment, in other words bullying. Yes it exists not only in reality but even in a virtual world. Hundreds of young girls and boys, even adults have fallen victim to online harassment. The people responsible seek pleasure in the form of "sexting" which is a way of adulating by the use of vulgar text and pictures. And when the person they have an eye on refuses to submit themselves to their needs, they abuse the person to the point of harming the individual's emotional well being. There are multiple forms of cyber bullying, the one mentioned above and others including spreading rumours, trolling the person's pictures uploaded on social media by using vulgar and abusive language, or just by poking fun at the person in a hurtful way.
Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a person even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time irrespective of distance between the bully and victim.
Social media was meant to be used for positive activities, connect family and friends from near and far but these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of cyber bullying are similar. People who have fallen victim to online abuse, especially when young and impressionable, are likely to use alcohol and drugs, skip school; it will also hamper their self-esteem, making them feel less worthy about themselves and have an effect on their mental health.
Online harassment exists mostly on social media sites such as Facebook. Commonly, boys stalk girls on social media sites with perpetual unending friend requests that at most times the girl rejects. The boys do not accept the NO! They are adamant, they are determined to "WIN" the girl and think it is alright to harass and abuse a girl who refuses to kneel down to their machismo. These online bullies seek attention; they will troll and abuse people online. Do these bullying barbarians even think about their own families, if they have a sister or a brother new to Facebook or elsewhere on social media, how would they feel if their close ones got perpetually abused online? Abused to the point that it gives them insecurities which make them feel small and unworthy?
This is a call to respective NGOs and the authorities that perhaps it is high time to initiate a complaint box where individuals can file a complaints against anyone who abuse them online and deal with the matter. Online abuse is bad; it is bad because some victims are driven to the point of not just depression but even suicide.
All of this maybe attributed to intention of people that could literally transfix a person into a state of immense sadness. Some people thrive on seeing misery and these bullies just like the regular ones want to inflict pain and suffering on others to make themselves feel better about themselves. They are a bunch of scrupulous players who are ridiculously freckle-narrow-minded.
In a totally different matter, it may be mentioned that a month ago, three Naga girls were duped by a foreigner online of Rs 35 lakhs or so. Be careful when you add and accept on Facebook or elsewhere on the internet. Facebook now has thousands of fake accounts preying on the young, naïve and innocent.
Online harassment has made its imminent mark. It needs to stop and it needs to happen now, not today, not tomorrow but now! What Facebookers or even other social media users can do is report the person's account, file an FIR or restraining order and spread the person's account as awareness. Online abusers are merely cowards hiding behind their screens who feel that they rule the world but little do they know that all good things come to an end or maybe they do and they are prepared for it. No matter what, online harassment is a crime unlike any other and a fitting punishment should be given.
(By Mebanaibor Nengnong)