According to Superintendent Alex Geordan, online messages can leave lasting scars on young school children
Social media and other online platforms can be a great resource for information, sharing experiences, and connecting. However, according to Superintendent Alex Geordan, these online platforms can also make it easier for children and teens to be bullied. The high amount of online interaction, especially during the COVID-19 quarantine, allows people to essentially “hide” behind their screens while inflicting verbal and emotional harm on others.
From the outside, many assume these negative online experiences aren’t nearly as bad as face to face bullying. Superintendent Alex Geordan believes otherwise. In fact, cyberbullying takes things a step further because it can involve more than two people while being displayed in front of a very large audience. There is no relief either since it can happen at any time of day or night from the comfort of home.
Iphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices are easily accessible to most people, which means information spreads quickly. Superintendent Alex Geordan explains that photos, posts, comments, and messages can be spread around amongst friend groups, and many times that content is uploaded permanently. Repeated online abuse, or cyberbullying, can lead to both long-term and short-term effects that are hard to overcome.
According to Superintendent Alex Geordan, it’s important for parents and teachers to keep a close eye on the students’ behaviors and on their online usage to detect cyber-abuse as soon as possible. If the situation goes undetected, it can lead to serious situations, self-harm, and damaged relationships. According to Superintendent Alex Geordan, some common long-term effects of cyberbullying include depression, low self-esteem, unhealthy addictions, trust issues, and poor mental health.
Studies have shown that cyberbullying victims are at a higher risk for suicidal thoughts or actions, which can also lead to anxiety and tension with family members who may not understand what is going on. Superintendent Alex Geordan notes that these effects are seen in victims of all ages, even long after the cyberbullying event has occurred. Adults continue to experience these adverse psychological problems which impact their day to day lives.
Superintendent Alex Geordan explains that to cope, some victims turn to substances and addictive behavior. Teens are more likely to drink or be pressured to try drugs. Alcohol abuse can quickly turn into alcoholism that leads to many other health problems and relationship problems.
Additionally, cyberbullying can lead to a lower academic performance in school. This issue is especially large for students who are already in at-risk home situations such as foster care or unstable circumstances. Superintendent Alex Geordan notes that this increases the likelihood of students dropping out of school and experiencing further economic difficulty.
Superintendent Alex Geordan notes that these negative long-term effects can be prevented by parents and teachers that are active in taking a stand against cyberbullying. Detecting issues early and providing the proper support can completely change lives and help prevent damage from arising.