In a set of new studies by the University of Harvard and the University of Stanford on Prosocial Conformity, it provided valuable insights about how peer pressure isn’t all bad – as a matter of fact, there is some great news — when people witness others being kind and generous, it actually catches on!
People who had watched others donate generously wrote friendlier, more empathic, and more supportive notes than those who had watched others behave greedily. This suggests that kindness evolves as it diffuses, “infecting” behaviors through which new individual can express it. People in our studies didn’t even need to see others do anything in order to catch their kindness. – Scientific American
Kindness isn’t only about offline, with the majority of both youth and adults living digitally today, learning to click with kindness should be second nature to everyone. With empathy in your heart, it’s impossible to be cruel to each other. Author of UnSelfie, Dr. Michele Borba, has studied bullying for decades and revealed in her latest book that teens are 40% less empathetic than those of thirty years ago and narcissism is up 58%. The good news is, she says, bullying is a learned behavior and can be unlearned.
“Make no mistake about it, empathy can combat cruelty.” Dr. Michele Borba
We are experiencing times when adults are acting like children online; it’s up to us not to be followers, but to be leaders with our keystrokes. We are the role models for tomorrow’s digital generation.
The world of online shaming may never disappear completely, but if each one of us takes responsibility for ourselves — and then looks out for other, we will gradually make a good dent in the cyber-trash that goes on. We are experiencing times when adults are acting like children online, it’s up to us not to be followers, but to be leaders with our keystrokes.
It’s important to be an upstander online. When you see someone being harassed or abused online, reach out to them either publicly or privately — let them know you are there for them. The worst part about being harmed online is believing you are alone. You’re not. There are many resources now available to those that are being harassed, threatened and harmed.
Either way, bringing a smile to someone or lifting their heart when they are feeling blue through a click, may seem simple — but you have no idea what it means at the receiving end, especially when your going through hard times.
Just like when people receive those cyber-bullets – they hurt but the cyber-love feels great! Give the kind-clicks generously — someone might be watching, remember, it’s contagious!