solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short

Reviewing data from the Family Online Safety Institute led Larry Magid to contemplating cyberbullying, among other things:  

But what's even more disturbing is that young adults -- mostly digital natives -- "are more likely than any other demographic group to experience online harassment." Nearly two-thirds of that 18-29 age-group "have been the target of at least one of the six elements of harassment that were queried in the survey. Among those 18-24, the proportion is 70 percent." It's even worse for young women.

You just *know* that why it’s disturbing is because it happens online….whereas I’d bet that these numbers aren’t any different than the numbers of kids who’ve been bullied and ostracized and harassed for years – it’s just that when it happens online suddenly someone wants to know about it. 

I’ll admit, the online aspect does make it more pervasive – if I hadn’t been able to go home at night, to get away at least in part….well, I doubt I’d have made it to adulthood.  With social media and other tools, the harassment can reach out and smack you, no matter where you are.  There are no safe spaces anymore. 

But let’s not pretend this is new or that it has its genesis in technology – up to 70% have experienced bullying between 18-24?  Bet the numbers are the same or worse in high school. 

Hobbes described the life of man as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”  For far too many of us that describes adolescence and young adulthood spent with our “peers”….