Tuesday, 2 of September of 2014

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Understanding Bullying

The Rubber Ducky Posse is a pro social networking site (a networking site that promotes positive, cooperative human interaction.) We aim to teach the importance of civilized behavior and to put an end to exploitation of people by bullying, intimidation, psychological terrorism and just plain bad manners — online and offline.

This site is run by Dr. Peter Favaro, a New York based clinical and forensic psychologist who has spent most of his 30 year career studying anger, aggression, conflict and social behavior. “Dr. Peter” is also a computer hardware and software designer, a lifelong geek who has worked as a video game consultant and designer for companies like Activision and Atari and who continues to design technology for the web and for smart phones.

Here is a quote that sums up Dr. Peter’s views on the nature of human beings and how technology plays a role in human social behavior.

“Technology has become a social vehicle for lots of amazing innovation but like all great changes there are some side effects. People use technology for intimidation and the expression of aggression, aggressive social competition and what we commonly call bullying. Human beings, for the most part, must be taught how to live harmoniously with others. Those of us who have learned respectful and civilized ways of behavior often assume that others have learned the same manners, and are often mistaken. The key word here is “learned.” While some people easily see the value of living in civilized and harmonious ways, this insight is by and large not necessarily a natural part of our psychology.

The history of human behavior shows that we are more inclined to want to fight, dominate, war and clash with others. While I do not believe that people are naturally “bad,” I don’t believe they are naturally “good” either.  I believe that some people are born with a tendency to be more aggressive, most people are aggressive when they are pushed to it, and some people are born to be more fearful and more easily frightened. I also believe that humans and groups of humans are in different phases of evolution when it comes to how important it is to be civilized and pro social and to live harmoniously with others.

So, as a species, we are a mixed bag and depending on the situations we find ourselves in, we are likely to encounter people who behave in ways that place us in a position of being psychologically manipulated, attacked, victimized and bullied, intimidated as their way of getting what they want and satisfying their selfish goals.

The online environment is  made up of virtual space, and virtual space concentrates the psychological distance between people who occupy the space, increasing the chances that predatory people like bullies will want to take control of it.”

More simply put: we live in a world where aggressive people try to get ahead by trying to control the behavior of others by bullying and intimidation. This behavior can start in childhood and is seen at almost every age and in every situation and environment where people are in groups (and that is almost everywhere). The online environment makes people easy to bully because virtual space brings people into close contact even if there is lots of physical space between them.

rubber ducky badgeHow you can help end bullying...

Students:

If you are a student in grades 8 through 12 make the Rubber Ducky Posse Promise by clicking on the link at the top of the page.

Parents:

If you are a parent who is concerned about bullying in your child’s school do some research for us and send your school contact information so we can send the school notices that children are being bullied. We prefer email addresses but we’ll send out snail mail letters as well. If you want to help “the cause” consider sending us a PayPal donation of $5  or whatever you would like, so that we can ramp up the site, create more content about bullying and how to stop it,  and broaden our outreach. You are under absolutely no obligation to do this to use the site, download the materials and enjoy our peaceful, harmonious point of view.


rubber ducky badgeSchool Teachers and Administrators:

If you are a school teacher or administrator, download the free lesson plan about bullying and provide us with contact information so we can let you know if students in your school are reporting problems with bullying. Consider starting a Rubber Ducky Posse Program in your school and if you like the idea we will send you information on conflict resolution training materials and how to reduce bullying in your school.

rubber ducky badgeVictims of Bullies:

If you are someone who is being bullied, speak out by filling out a I Am Being Bullied Form and we will notify your school that there is a bullying problem. This is a confidential notification, your name will not be reported. Read the Coping With Bullies handbook. Discuss what is being done with your family and school teacher (in private).

rubber ducky badgeWanna Be an Ambassador?

If you are someone who wants to help us live in a society with less bullying, join the Rubber Ducky Posse Ambassador Program, read the Coping With Bullies Manual, take the online certification test and get your certificate of completion. The manual is funny, informative and full of good advice on how to deal with bullies.