Why I wrote Gray Zone

      6 Comments on Why I wrote Gray Zone

Bullies have been around for as long as anyone
can remember. We’ve all seen them. They are the
biggest, baddest kids on the playground and everyone knows to stay out of their way.

But there is a new breed of bully in town, one that is unseen and virtually invisible. A sneaky breed that hides a cruel streak that drives the bullying behavior behind a screen name. A breed that pummels a victim with negativity much more brutally than the old style bully could with his fists.

These cyberbullies do it partly because it is so easy. It takes very little effort to snap an embarrassing picture with a phone and post it, spread a rumor via twitter, or send an abusive text.

From the bully’s point-of-view it’s little different than a game. None of it is really real. It all happens in the no man’s land that is the digital world. And the digital world is, after all, simply a fairy tale land made up of wispy clouds of data.

Besides, the bully is safely hidden behind a mask. No one knows who contributed that comment or posted that humiliating picture, so as far as the bully’s is concerned, there’s no reason for guilt.

But the victim’s point-of-view is quite different since she can never escape the bully’s insulting taunts.  And instead of an embarrassing moment dying a natural death, it goes viral. Suddenly everybody knows about it. Life becomes a misery.

And stays that way. Zombie-data lives on forever on the Internet. Rude comments, insulting tweets, and mortifying pictures never truly die, they just keep coming back over, and over, and over again. There is no escape.

This is the world that we live in, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Our first task to to make everyone understand that the digital world IS a part of our world. What goes on in that crazy, mixed up place doesn’t stay there.

It is what Gray Zone is all about.

 

6 thoughts on “Why I wrote Gray Zone

  1. JATomlinson

    I hate bullying and the book looks like an interesting read. I grew up just as the social networking world was coming alive and luckily missed out on too much cyberbullying, but I have younger sisters going through it right now. There's also some interesting documentaries and news specials on it.

    Reply
  2. Ansley Arnie Weekes

    You have highlighted a very true point in this article that more teens especially need to be made aware of. What they post online can and will be seen by many people, and could go viral with ease. Just because you are not actually directly showing the pictures or comments to everyone around you by posting them, does not mean that everyone cannot find them by some means.

    Another thing that cyber bullies should consider is that no one is truly anonymous online. Even an amateur hacker can easily identify one's IP address and obtain their details within a few minutes of work. Not so safe behind your screen after all!

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  3. Veronica R. Tabares

    Unfortunately perceptions seem to count for more than reality.

    Teens think they have control over what they post on the Internet, and bullies think a screen name will forever hide their identity.

    And so a lot of damage is done.

    Reply
  4. Nikole Outterridge

    Bullies are everywhere and it shows just how pathetic they are when they feel the need to hide behind their computer screens. I think the message needs to get out to those who are suffering that by ignoring those who bully them online, they are proving that they are so much more mature and worthwhile.

    Also it should show that the bullies didn't have the courage to show their identities, which should be a clear indicator of their incompetence.

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  5. Narelle Corey

    It is true that since you are not actually bringing your fists up to someone, or abusing them verbally face to face it can seem to some people like what they're doing isn't harmful. However, it is crucial that both kids and adults understand just how devastating it can be to be cyber-bullied, and how it is just as serious as bullying through the traditional means.

    Reply

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