Digital Drama is a new age term that refers to forms of abuse and violence among teens online or through technology.
It may sound similar to cyberbullying, but there's a thin difference between both.
Digital Drama is all about the everyday tiffs and disputes between friends or acquaintances online or via text.
Many students, especially teenagers, experience stressful social issues that they don't identify as "cyberbullying". These are the challenges teens face in the online world as their friends and foes from offline life connect with them through new digital mediums, called digital Drama.
It is the ordinary Drama and gossip of everyday life amplified in the online world to the extent that it creates stressful situations and experiences for teens. Digital Drama is not cyberbullying but can easily lead to it.
Staying behind the screens and saying things to people you won't in real life or quickly fighting with a friend over a cell phone rather than in reality are just a few examples of digital Drama.
Watch this Video Where Teens Reveal Their Experiences of Social Media and a Social Life
Impact of Digital Drama
Kids get involved in Digital Drama to harass, embarrass, or bully others online and causes lasting harm to the victim. The humiliation caused to the victim directly affects the kids' self-confidence and can permanently damage kids' well-being.
Since online content leaves a footprint that can't be removed, it leaves a lasting impact on the victim. It damages their social image, self-esteem & confidence and may create a feeling of insecurity.
Unlike cyberbullying, which involves repeated digital harassment toward someone, Digital Drama is a broader and more nuanced crime. Digital Drama can feel very real to students, lead to hurt feelings and even damage friendships. In some cases, digital Drama can escalate into an offline fight – either verbal or physical.
Watch this Video below on Teen Voices and How They Deal with Digital Drama
Ways Digital Drama Can Occur
- Hate speech: making cruel, hostile, or negative statements about someone. Comments based on their race, religion, national origin, ability, age, gender, or sexual orientation.
- Impersonation: Creating a fake social media profile page in another kid's name or hacking their profile to damage their social image. Using someone's phone and texting under the owner's name and more such instances.
- Anonymous question sites: kids use such sites among their friends to spread rumours about other kids while remaining anonymous.
- Sharing less-than-flattering photos, mean captions, cringe pics, blackmailing others with embarrassing pictures, and sharing super awkward images on Instagram or any common social media platform.
What Can be Done to Prevent Kids from Indulging in Digital Drama
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure; helping kids understand the consequence of their online behaviour and educating them about the ethical use of the internet and technology can reduce the probability of kids indulging in such ill practices. Teachers and parents can help by making kids think about the consequences of their online behaviour and actions. The victim may get hurt, but many shame and challenges come upon the guilty kid in such cases. Digital Drama can equally harm the guilty as the victim.
When guiding students, they must understand the right way to address their online relationships and know that they always have another choice than indulging in such malpractices. Kids can also help each other by creating community support around activities or interests of all, or they can misuse the public space of online communities to tear each other down. They can either create and initiate the dialogue or pass on rumours, hate speech and ill comments. They just have to make the right choice.