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Getting the Cold Shoulder Online as Hurtful as in Person

Getting the Cold Shoulder Online as Hurtful as in Person

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Paul Nelson, KSL Newsradio Counselors have stated how dangerous cyberbullying can be. However, cyberbickering is also taking a toll on many young people. Now, even ignoring someone online can cause problems.

Students approach Jay Wilgus with their problems all the time, and lots of them start from someone's message online.

Jay Wilgus: "So often, [it] gets misinterpreted online among their friends, or it gets publicized or published to a group they never intended it to go to."

Wilgus says these arguments may seem petty at times.

Jay Wilgus: "She said something about me on another site or somebody else's profile."

Wilgus says one time a student came to him, angry that another friend took them off their "MySpace" top eight friends list. He says you may expect to hear of arguments like these from junior high kids. The only difference is the students he watches over are in college.

Jay Wilgus: "I'm the residential education coordinator up in housing at the University of Utah."

Wilgus says sometimes these arguments get so bad, roommates carry whatever fight they are having to cyberspace.

Jay Wilgus: "We've had students begging for room changes, and we've had students really in emotional spots.

Nelson: "These emotional problems have come because one person took another person off the top eight spaces of their "MySpace" page?"

Jay Wilgus: "I've seen that example at least once."

For many young people, getting the cold shoulder from friends online is just as bad as it is face to face. West High School guidance counselor Marco Herrera says some of his students try to take drastic measures after they get brushed aside.

Marco Herrera: "Sometimes they want to graduate early and just get out of here because they're so upset about it. There's no curriculum in school really about how to do interpersonal problem solving and addressing conflict management. There's no curriculum for that, but it's one of the key components to success in the workplace."

Herrera says boys are just as guilty of fighting over petty issues as girls are, even though stereotypes may suggest otherwise.

Marco Herrera: "But, they're not allowed to talk about it nearly as much as the girls, because girls talk more, and the boys will kind of bury it a little bit."

Herrera says some people apparently never outgrow it. He says he recently had to deal with a coworker after he passed that person in the hall, and he did not see them and say "hello."

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