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A Blog – Howard Burge speaks out about Bullying #antibullyingweek

Trying to be top dog or leader of the pack is something that has been prevalent in the civilized world since it began. Human nature leads some of our brilliant species to want to claim the top spot as leader of the race, some by virtue of honesty and integrity, and some by less scrupulous means.

It is the sadder side of base human nature that breeds what we see all too often – bullying and cat calling amongst social groups, and now more than ever online, via the numerous social media accounts available to young people.

From Twitter to Pinterest, Snapchat to Instagram and a whole host of other rather adventurously named social media tools, we are subject to terrifying stories about how individuals have been taunted and systematically bullied. The level of abuse can be horrifying and lives have been lost.

This week is ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ and I had to stand up and support the excellent work carried out by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, a team we are proud to partner with in stamping out bullying. The theme for this year’s week is ‘Power for Good’. This reminds me that although we have opened up a whole new can of worms by giving the world the gift of social media, we have also given an opportunity for powerful messages of empowerment.

As a father of three young girls, bullying is a topic that is on the agenda from time-to-time for my wife and I. Luckily we haven’t had to deal directly with any issues, but we are always aware, always in dialogue about not allowing it into our girls’ lives.

My children will grow up in a more technical, more digital age that I can even begin to conceive. They are already more savvy than I am, they are quicker and more responsive to social media initiatives and competitions that #hashtaghappen…

I am going to pledge to encourage my family to promote positivity on social media. From making kind remarks when friends achieve, to encouraging those we see having a bad day on Facebook – the #PowerForGood is always within us. We are reminded from a very young age to ‘treat people with the respect you would expect to be treated’ – however digitally advanced we become, we must hold onto this mantra always.

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