Bullying is such a hot issue lately.
If you only had the news to go on, you might think it’s a recent phenomenon. But many adults just have to think back on their own childhoods to know that it is nothing new.
Bullying has existed throughout known history, and it isn’t just a schoolyard phenomenon, either. It’s found in every human culture around the world, and it’s even been observed among animals.
Scientists studying bullying theorize that it’s part of the human condition, an evolutionary behavior used to maintain social order. According to evolutionary anthropologist Hogan Sherrow
, the targets of bullying are often “individuals whose behavior challenges [or] disrupts” — individuals who “are considered unusual.” It is meant to get them to conform.
But while bullying may have provided an evolutionary advantage in the past, in today’s world it only seems to do harm. It is dangerous, can cause lasting mental health issues
, and can even be deadly
. Research suggests a strong link between bullying and suicide
, which is the third leading cause of death among young people.
Today, the internet has made bullying even easier. Apps like Yik Yak
, which allows anonymous messages to be posted, make cyber bullying and hate speech easy to spread without fear of any consequences.
While the internet may have made it easier to bully from a distance, it doesn’t have to be this way. Technology is just a tool — and one that can be harnessed to do the exact opposite: to put an end to bullying.
The seven apps listed below have been designed to fight bullying. Created for teachers, parents, and children, the apps enable you to spot common signs of it, record incidents discretely, report it to the proper authorities and get the help you need.
If you’re worried about bullying or need a way to fight back peacefully, check out the apps below for tools to help.
High Tech Solutions to Schoolyard Bullying
Bullying has always been with us, but it has only been in recent years that we’ve learned just how damaging it is. Beyond the physical harm, children who are bullied suffer from eating and sleeping disorders, decreased academic achievement, and depression. And that has resulted in the development of various kinds of tools to battle bullying. We look at seven apps designed to help.
KnowBullying is an app for parents. It facilitates conversations between parents and children, providing information on how to start conversations with reminders to do so.
STOP!t is an organizational tool for schools, which allows students to report on bullying as it happens.
3. Bully Button
Bully Button allows children to record incidents and send them to adults with a single click of a button.
4. My Mobile Watchdog
My Mobile Watchdog is an app that allows parents to monitor their children’s interactions on their phones.
5. Net Nanny
Net Nanny is an app that allows parents to filter and monitor their children’s activity.
BullyTag is an app that allows people who witness bullying to send anonymous information to school officials in a number of formats.
7. Anonymous Alerts
Bullying is a serious problem that affects a great many children. Each year, 1 in 3 students can expect to be bullied. But the use of apps like the ones we’ve highlighted here provide tools to discourage, detect, and document bullying. They empower children, parents, and teachers. Within the context of broader anti-bullying campaigns, they help reduce the frequency and danger of bullying.