What’s it Going to Take to Change?
By Kristy Cheyne
Fourteen-year-old, Trisha Prabhu, proposes her very own application, ReThink, to prevent cyberbullying in her TEDX Teen Talk. Trisha emphasizes that as technology keeps advancing and social media becomes further intertwined in our lives and social interactions, victims are no longer safe at home. Bullying has evolved to the online environment, so no children and victims are no longer safe at home. Perpetrators can attack their victims 24/7 on various different platforms. Hence, the simple “Stop, Block, and Report” method is no longer a feasible solution.
After researching the adolescent brain, Trisha found out that the adolescent mind is not fully developed and acts impulsively. Therefore, she realized that the basis of her application would force adolescents to rethink what they were doing before doing it. Trisha’s application is a downloadable, Google Chrome extension which sends a pop-up when an individual is about to post or comment something offensive or harmful. The pop-up gives the individual a moment to rethink what they are about to post. What Trisha found is that the majority of the time the individual decided not to post their comment. Although, Trisha’s application is a brilliant idea, and exposes the demand for a change in the online environment, I do not think that her application is the best solution.
There are many different aspects that need to be taken into account when creating a solution to preventing cyberbullying. Children should not bethe only age group aim at when thinking about cyberbullying; it is occurring in all age groups. Furthermore, the solution should not be an application that one must download because the perpetrator is the last person to want to download it. In sum, it is going to take something much bigger than merely an application to fix this issue in the online social environment.