NO BULLY CELEBRATES WORLD KINDNESS DAY BY HIGHLIGHTING AN AREA THAT NEEDS IT MOST – THE INTERNET. OUR LATEST INITIATIVE, POWER OF ZERO, PLANS TO TACKLE THIS CHALLENGE HEAD-ON.
Think about how you introduce yourself to anyone you meet for the first time. You probably shake their hand. You at least give them a smile and politely tell them your name. The conversation then ebbs and flows as you find what you have in common and build a stronger relationship. You end with saying how nice it was to meet them and perhaps have a promise of coffee over the next week.
If I ask you to remember your introductions to new acquaintances online, I doubt all of them are as pleasant. Some don’t even start with a “Hello,” but with strings of insults instead. It could be that you were harassed for your opinion on an online forum or bullied for a picture you posted to Instagram. The end of your “conversation” doesn’t hold a promise of coffee at best and blocking the individual at worst.
Why are these two scenarios so different? Behind the screen is a human – a human you wouldn’t insult if you met them face-to-face. And yet, cyberbullying is only increasing. I know that these interactions never make me feel happy or supported, and I imagine that’s true of anyone that uses the Internet. So why does it happen?
The answer to this question is incredibly complex – we still don’t know all the reasons – but one of the major factors in the field is early education. Currently, many places teach children to read and write separately from social and emotional learning. And for many of those children, there is no introduction of the skills they need to navigate the Internet safely, savvy, and confident enough to handle its less savory interactions. It is hard to build empathy through a screen, and even harder to do so if we don’t have the tools.
World Kindness Day is a celebration of positivity and understanding – to promote acceptance and happiness everywhere, including the Internet. It’s a message that aligns with our latest initiative, the Power of Zero, perfectly. No Bully President and Founder, Nicholas Carlisle, recently talked about this initiative’s importance at the annual IBPA conference. The goal is to teach “young children the skills and values that they need for a connected world. We believe that this is one of the best ways to eradicate bullying before it begins,” he said. “Power of Zero defines twelve core skills that every child needs in this digital age.”
With these new lessons and resources, we hope to teach children the Power of Kindness online to prevent cyberbullying before it begins. It’s an often misunderstood or unaddressed issue, and it’s why we’re taking the time to recognize it this World Kindness Day. We hope that by spreading awareness, Internet users of all ages will take the time to say something nice and promote a positive digital culture today.
If you want to learn more about promoting the Power of Kindness, please visit our Power of Zero website and its available lessons! Changing online culture takes more than one voice, but every voice counts!