Cyber bullies and Internet trolls

In recent years, bullying has moved off the school playground and taken up residence in a new space: the Internet. And online, cyber bullies and so-called “trolls” can harass and taunt countless people with a far greater cruelty than they would ever commit to offline.

CNN reports that such an incident occurred with English boxer Curtis Woodhouse, who was harangued endlessly by a Twitter user following a loss. The bullying escalated to such a degree that the fighter began receiving death threats aimed at both himself and his family. Rather than fighting back with verbal abuse of his own, Woodhouse tracked down the Twitter follower’s real name and address and drove up to his house, taking pictures along the way to prove he was actually there and ready to confront him. This prompted the cyber bully to immediately back down and issue an apology online.

“The whole world saw him for what he really was, which was a coward and a bully, and the way I saw it, my job there was done,” Woodhouse told the source.

Why do bullies become so much more abrasive online? The answer lies in an “online disinhibition effect,” according to John Suler, a psychology professor at Rider University. In other words, anonymity allows them to act far worse than they ever would in person. Anger, depression and other psychological stresses also contribute to the effect.

“[Cyber bullies] want to inject their own emotional turmoil into other people by luring them into negativity,” said Suler. “It’s a way for them to feel some kind of control or power over their own disruptive emotions, at other people’s expense.”

If you have frustrations dealing with your own temper, put your online presence into something more constructive with the anger management classes of Conflict Coaching & Consulting. This private and flexible teen anger management program will help you to overcome and resolve mood issues.

Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC

Dr. Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC specializes in anger management, family conflict resolution, marital and premarital conflict resolution. His extensive knowledge in the field of anger management may enable you to use his tested methods to deal with your anger issues.


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