Dr.Shivani Salil

This has raised questions that have been lurking around and we have not had the courage to face. It’s the proverbial ‘Elephant in the room’ that we cannot wish away. The only way out is to tackle it.

What made it so simple for a lunatic psychopath to poach for possible victims and be successful in it? It has something to do with the innocuous nature of the medium and the anonymity it offers. He hid behind it, waiting patiently to pounce upon an unsuspecting victim. At least in the real world we could fathom what we were up against. In the virtual world, we do not even know what the size of this elephant is! The term ‘world wide web’ suddenly has a very scary connotation to it. It is a web that we have built around us in which we are getting stuck more and more day by day.

What made the victim fall for it? A low self-esteem, lack of self-belief and a convoluted sense of a purpose in life. These may be mere conjectures but there seems to be no other better explanation to the willingness for self-inflicted harm. What could have been done about it? That probably is very important because if we do not analyze our mistakes we never learn. And if we refuse to learn from our mistakes we repeat them long enough till they become a habit.

In the name of technology, we are mutating into islands. Even if someone tries to ask for help, we have become so deaf as to not hear those pleas. Lack of human touch is driving us towards our computer screens where we try to look for it. And instead of human touch what we end up is having the dirty hands of cyber bullies and criminals all over us. How difficult is it to get out there, talk and make friends? As if we did not have enough of social networking sites, now friends and dates are measured in swipes!! These are dangerous trends that we need to sit up and notice. Otherwise the legacy we are leaving for our children is very bleak and grey.

What can or is being done about it? Stating the obvious, issue alerts, look at the warning signs and create awareness. Talk to your children, friends and colleagues. Go that extra mile, make that effort. As we speak to our children about the possible dangers in the real world, similarly we also need to educate them on perils of the cyber world. Let them know someone has got their back. The disparity in the magnitude of the two worlds is immense so after all of this we can only hopeā€¦and pray!