“Roasting” can hurt feelings

Dillan Alspaugh, Staff Writer

The emergence of “roasting” has left many students teetering on the line between humor and harassment.

For years, schools and extracurricular organizations have made countless efforts to eradicate bullying. Programs like Stomp Out Bullying™ and Great Schools have tried to inform parents and students about in-school bullying and its effects.

These attempts have remained at least somewhat successful; students rarely get pushed into lockers or harassed for their lunch money.

“The reported prevalence of bullying ages 12 to 18 dropped to 22 percent after remaining stubbornly around 28 percent for the past decade,” according to the U.S. Department of Education.

However, society has found a replacement for bullying. Millennials like to call it “roasting” or joking, which is the act of teasing another person for one’s own enjoyment.

Roasting is different from bullying in that it does not directly insult or harass the victim. Roasting is often more discreet and condescending.

The perpetrator is able to shield themselves from repercussions by saying it was “just a joke,” and they “didn’t   mean to offend anyone.”

The victim then can be left with hurt feelings and no means of accusing anyone.

It is quite possible to make fun and have a few laughs about a situation, but boundaries should be recognized. Thinking before speaking is the most important concept. People need to think: “Is this a serious problem or insecurity? Will my joke actually make them feel bad?”

If the answer is yes, it should not be said.

If no harm is foreseen, and the teasing begins, it should immediately stop if the person being roasted does not find it entertaining. If it gets taken too far at their expense, they become a victim, and the teasing becomes harassment.

“I can remember several times that I joked someone and took it way too far,” said sophomore Tristan Hicks. “I immediately regretted it.”

It is also common that a group of people will begin making fun of a single person. In these circumstances, it is more common that the joke is taken too far, and the victim may see it as a teamed-up attack. Their natural instinct would be fight-or-flight, so they may be noticeably hostile or even leave the situation.

Take as an example the Kardashian vs. Chloë Grace Moretz social media drama. The situation did not get out of hand until several members of the Kardashian family teamed up against Chloë.

Roasting or joking can be funny if whoever is doing it can make sure they have avoided taking it beyond just a joke. It can also be a euphemism for bullying if all boundaries are ignored. The difference is simply reading the person and ensuring that they are not offended.