Cyberbullying has long-term effects
Technology is a large part of on-campus life. Not only is it used to research assignments or stay connected with professors, but to socialize with friends and family. Although platforms like social media and texting allow us to interact easily and spread support and love, it also allows individuals an outlet to be rude, insult or threaten others.
Cyberbullying is the harassment, embarrassment and targeting of another person through technology. Typically cyberbullying occurs among middle school students and decreases with age; however, research accounts that many people say their first experience with bullying began in college. Cyberbullying comes in many forms, from insulting or threatening text messages to impersonating someone.
“A girl in high school once sent me paragraphs on why she didn’t like me,” said Chelsea Sullivan, a sophomore at Charleston Southern University. “Sometimes people are looking for that one thing they want that the other person has and instead of being a friend, they put others down to make themselves feel better.”
The concept of bullying (including cyberbullying) is becoming more complex, making the importance of learning how to address these situations and finding tools to heal it more crucial. Many survivors of bullying are unaware of the long-term effects that they could be experiencing.
Long-term effects can include perpetual isolation, avoiding conflict, having a general mistrust in people, needing to be right, chronic defensiveness, problems with authority, depression and more.
“We want survivors to know that they can heal and feel better about their situation,” said Dr. Frank Budd, a clinical counselor at CSU.
The great thing is, one does not have to live with these long-term effects. The CSU Counseling Services team wants to be there as part of the road to recovery and wellness.
“It is important to talk to a counselor about your situation and to forgive the other person,” Sullivan said. “As our Father says, ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’”
This time of the year brings academic due dates, the holidays, and finals – which can cause stress and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Many students experience significant stress and trauma during their time at a university, often up to 25% of a student body experiences things concerning overwhelming schoolwork, loneliness, or financial issues. CSU Counseling Services provide short-term services in many areas, including bullying, depression, anxiety, eating concerns, academic problems, anger management, etc. Learn more at charlestonsouthern.edu/counseling-services or visit their office on the second floor of Russell West.
Madison Lyons is a student contributor for Marketing & Communication and is a senior majoring in marketing.