The Term Bullying Has Little Resonance with Teens

Danah Boyd has written a very insightful piece on how teens experience conflict and how the term “bullying” is not working well in terms of connecting with them. A case example is provided of two girls (Janiya and Precious) who have a conflict that is long-standing and unresolved. It is definitely worth reading. As she note in the concluding paragraph:

Combating bullying is not going to be easy, but it’s definitely not going to happen if we don’t dive deep in the mess that underpins it and surrounds it. Lectures by uncool old people like me aren’t going to make teens who are engaged in dramas think twice about what they’re doing. And, for that matter, using the term “bullying” is also not going to help at all either. We need interventions that focus on building empathy, identifying escalation, and techniques for stopping the cycles of abuse. We need to create environments where young people don’t get validated for negative attention and where they don’t see relationship drama as part of normal adult life. The issues here are systemic.