Learning the signs of digital distress can help you recognize when students or friends might be struggling.
- Change in tone: If someone you know suddenly changes their general tone or expresses hopelessness, it may be a sign of distress, especially if they starting talking about death or disappearing.
- Change in frequency: If someone suddenly changes the amount they post or talk — either notable increase or decrease — it may be important to reach out.
- Change in amount appearing on camera: Not appearing in a Zoom class or an online hangout isn’t always indicative of distress, but someone changing the amount they appear could be.
- Distressing environment: If it appears from video calls or online classes that someone’s environment is chaotic or distressing, consider reaching out or connecting them to resources.
- No show: Someone not showing up for class or online hangouts without letting others know could be a sign of distress.
- Unresponsive: Not replying to the group chat isn’t necessarily a sign of distress, but a sudden change or going completely unresponsive could be a sign of distress.
- Disengaged: While on a video call, someone appearing disengaged could be a sign of distress, especially if that’s a sudden change.