Free Apps Like 'ReThink' Help Stop Cyberbullying

Free Apps Like 'ReThink' Could Help Stop CyberbullyingFree Apps Like 'ReThink' Could Help Stop Cyberbullying

 

The digital world in which we currently reside has created a fast-paced environment full of wonders right at our fingertips. With all the information and technology freely available to us now, it seems almost nothing is out of reach and anything is possible. The Internet is our oyster and the world is being served up on a virtual platter. These are heady times, to be sure, and a lot of good has come from our ability to troll the depths of the seemingly infinite cyber seas. But with this around-the-world-in-80-seconds technological revolution has come a pretty sobering reality: as people, we really haven't come that far.

Cyberbullies

If you're wondering how anyone could lead in yammering on and on about how far we've come and then say we haven't, then consider this: we may have made significant advancements in our technological capabilities, but at heart it appears we're still emotionally Neanderthals with clubs in our hands. The clubs we carry now may bear little resemblance to the Stone Age creations of our forebearers, but they can be just as lethal. The clubs to which I refer are words. Whether written or spoken, we sadly have not advanced at anywhere near the rate of our scientific achievements. For some reason, we still feel the need to degrade, humiliate and bully one another.

Internet Anonymity

This ugly side of human nature has never been more prominently on display than via the anonymity of the Internet. In fact, it's become so bad the term cyberbullying has been coined to describe it. Anyone who gets their news via the web or who engages in social media knows what I'm talking about. Apparently, hiding behind a keyboard and the cloak of a funny little emoji or colorful icon has emboldened Internet trolls (as they're now referred) to become ruthless wordsmiths whose goal it is to verbally bludgeon everyone around them in an effort to make themselves feel better — and they can be brutal. So brutal, in fact, that many of these attacks have led to suicide on the part of their victims and countless websites and blogs aimed at addressing the problem have sprung up in response to it.

 

 Free Apps Like 'ReThink' Could Help Stop Cyberbullying: App for mobile devices reduces offensive messagesFree Apps Like 'ReThink' Could Help Stop Cyberbullying: App for mobile devices reduces offensive messages

 

Stopping Cyberbullying

When queried, most people don't see themselves as cyberbullies. If anything, people are just being oversensitive, in their view, rather than the possibility that they, themselves, are being insensitive. Whether you're truly clueless or completely devoid of having a sensitivity chip, now there's a free app out there designed to keep your cyberbully in check. It's called ReThink, and it is the brainchild of a 15-year-old girl named Trisha Prabhu whose intent it is to prevent inadvertent cyberbullying before it happens. Prabhu comes from a family of computer science professionals and was inspired by the senseless death of Rebecca Sedwick, a 12-year-old girl who took her own life after allegedly being cyberbullied by classmates.

Free Apps for Mobile Devices

After the tragic events involving Sedwick, Prabhu began researching the teenage brain and found that (not surprisingly) the area responsible for regulating impulse control is not fully developed in adolescents and teens. “The adolescent brain is liken to a car with no brakes," she's been noted as saying, "so we don’t think about what we’re doing when we’re posting something.” The free app alerts users to possibly offensive content when posting messages with mobile devices through the use of intuitive software. This allows people the opportunity to rethink their texts or tweets before they're out there in cyberspace. It's basically like a reality check before you hit send.

Combating Cyber Trolls

Once in the testing phase, it was discovered that a user's overall willingness to post a potentially hurtful message dropped from a whopping 71 percent to a scant 4 percent once ReThink prompted a sensitivity alert. And it's not just tweens and teens that could benefit from the free ReThink app. There are plenty of adults out there that could use a refresher course in sensitivity as well. It's this knowledge and the fact that Trisha Prabhu thinks that no one should ever have to pay in order to be safe on the Internet that the mobile app is free. It's her desire that the app be as widely available as possible for installation amongst children and adults. While Android users are currently able to install ReThink, an IOS version is just around the corner for Apple devices.

So, what do you think? Could you use an app like this or perhaps someone you know? Sound off in the comment section below.