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Sexual harassment and technology

When many people think of sexual harassment the only thing that comes to mind is inappropriate touching or verbal comments. While these are common forms of harassment, things have changed with the increased use of technology.

In today’s working world, sexual harassment via new technology is common. This type of technology can include but is not limited to texting, email, instant messaging, and social network communication.

The problem with this type of communication is that it can be easily misunderstood. Furthermore, people are more inclined to make borderline comments via a digital platform, as opposed to in a face-to-face environment.

With technology, there is no body language. It is nothing more than the words of one person being interpreted by another. For this reason, it is possible for one party or the other to be misunderstood.

New technology has opened up a new avenue for sexual harassment. A late night email can turn one person into a victim and another into somebody who has crossed the line.

If there is any good that can come from this, it is that most technology leaves a trail. This makes it easy for a victim to prove that he or she was treated in an inappropriate manner.

As long as technology continues to advance, as it should, there is always the possibility that this could cause issues regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. If a person is a victim, he or she has the right to report the behavior to a supervisor. This is often the first step in putting an end to the behavior.

Source: Forbes, “The ‘New’ Sexual Harassment,” accessed May. 14, 2015

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