Cyberbullying is a child of a culture where violence is accepted as normal

There is a “lack of understanding by parents and teachers about virtual reality, which is in fact a subcategory of reality” with the consequence that “the generation of parents born in the 70s is in great difficulty because, despite they are on social media, he is unable to educate his children in new technologies”.

“From this point of view, parenting today is almost an abuse of the profession,” exclaims the psychologist with irony Luca PisanoDirector of the Observatory Cybercrime of Sardinia and consultant for various national bodies against bullying and cyberbullying. Therefore, he notes at the turning point of the summer and during the planning of the school year: “It is important that parents live the digital experiences that their children have: Only in this way can we teach them to live the network by exploiting all its potential. and avoid dangers”. As he himself tried to do in the volume, written jointly with the vice-president of Italian pediatricians Osama Al Jamal, Smart family. Handbook for digital awareness in the familyintroduced by the archbishop’s foreword of Cagliari and new Secretary General of CEI, Mgr. Giuseppe Baturi. A highly recommended read under the umbrella.

You collaborated in one of the latest Eurispes regional studies on cyberbullying, from which comes data that, although based on a sample from Sardinia, is also evident in the rest of Italy. What is your idea about this phenomenon?
In my opinion, the first problem lies in the fact that most parents and students have not understood what virtual reality is: not even Remote Teaching (Father) has allowed us to understand that they are the same, that the so-called virtual reality it is a subcategory of reality and not an alternative to it. The first aspect is therefore to show how real the emotions we feel when playing video games or communicating in a chat, how much what we do in the virtual world has consequences for reality and, in the case of threats and insults on the web, legal consequences. Confusion is also high among parents and teachers because there was no social training when they came out, and smartphones themselves appeared in 2010, with all the possibilities and abuse that followed. I note everywhere in the national territory the urgency of filling this conceptualization deficit.

What other reasons do you see?
The other major problem that explains phenomena like haters and cyberbullying is digital subcultures: we have numerous digital containers, from streamers to the most sophisticated TV series on Netflix and other platforms, which proliferate within an apparent cultural process of normalization of deviations. . This is what we saw in La casa di carta or in Élite or other TV series, where justice and legality represent a negative value, while the whole production celebrates petty crime and transgression, as happens with some of the most famous streamers present on network, YouTubers cursing and cursing while playing PlayStation with hundreds of thousands of teenage followers. Cyberbullying is the child of a culture where violence is perceived and accepted as normal: a subculture that ends up desensitizing the youngest. The problem is that these subcultures are not antagonistic to the dominant culture, but are themselves an expression of it: there is an entire digital industry that produces both culture and subculture in the name of extreme neoliberalism and unlimited profit. Therefore, as we have already seen in recent years, it is not cheating that legislators set limits on platforms that disseminate content unsuitable for minors or fake news: parents and teachers must know these worlds to guide children and students. workstation

You were among the teachers of the Tik Tok project (LION) in Sardinia and conducts digital training courses throughout Italy starting with Pensa before sharing guide (FETCH). What aspects does it utilize in schools?
As far as possible, I try to nurture the students’ critical spirit about what they post and share on social networks, about the content of digital subcultures and that it is not about neutral stimuli, but that the obsessive repetition of the song of violence – or misogyny – on the contrary has an effect on the psyche. I insist on the erroneous induction that video games are virtual reality rather than reflecting on the fact that the money spent on beautifying the character (“shoppare le skins”) is real, on how new technologies induce addiction and on the existence of digital behavior spread by streamers and YouTubers who advocate the deregulation of the net. See, for example, the so-called smerding, one of the most hateful forms of cyberbullying, which consists of putting a girl in the pillar by spreading her photos and videos, sometimes intimate, along with her Instagram account and mobile phone on Telegram- channels and groups. So anyone, even strangers, can denigrate it

What reactions does it provoke in the students?
The first reaction is disbelief: when I quote Masseo, Zano or Marza or the most downloaded video games or manga and anime, they can’t believe they really know the world they’re immersed in. They often ask me questions for verification and only then agree to be questioned. After an initial denial, their questions and objections emerge, sometimes leading to real dialectical fights. In general, I see the great need to talk about these issues, because it is clear that they have no adults to talk to about the digital experiences they have: this is also why we have a generation of teenagers who have never been as alone as they are today, and parents who don’t know what to talk about with their children.

Its Smart Family manual is something of a call to arms for parents of digital natives. Why is it important to start from a very early childhood?
The Internet is not a space designed for children. Still, smartphones and tablets are used by parents to calm or distract children when sitting at the table, in restaurants or in public places. That is why it is necessary to pay attention to the Pegi classification of any video game and in any case test them to check for any risks and inappropriate content, in any case it would be better not to exceed 30 minutes a day.

What do you recommend to parents of older children?
Today, from elementary school, children have digital experiences on video game platforms or on social networks that we haven’t had, they grow and learn from the network in ways we don’t know. Therefore, I am convinced that what parents can and must do is to digitize their thoughts and behavior, and I see that there is a lot of resistance to bridging this generation gap. Our parents passed on information to us. Today, a 9-year-old child has digital experiences on a video game platform or on connected chat, where everyone can try to entice him, which parents have no idea: that’s why these children are so alone. Who can they talk to? If neither parents nor teachers know Instagram or Twitch or Telegram and how they work, we ask them moral, ethical or legal questions that are too far from their world. Parents, before getting them to create a digital experience, must do it themselves, also to have topics to talk to them about. We must enter the digital world and focus on concrete facts to be understood by them.

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