While the internet has made our lives easier by allowing us to shop online, bank online, and connect with friends and family members much easier, it has opened up our youth to more dangers than ever before. When a teen is talking to someone online, they have no idea who it is on the other end. It could be a predator looking to take advantage of the teen, or worse.
The invention of the internet led to the invention of social media. You will likely have a hard time finding a teen who isn’t active on at least one of the leading social network platforms. While kids love social media, it has opened them up to more dangers than ever before. Teens care a lot about how many likes they get on their photos and posts. If they don’t get as many likes as their friends, it can result in feelings of inadequacy and poor self-esteem. Social media has also brought about cyberbullying.
Bullying has been a problem for centuries. With the invention of social media and the internet, it is easier for bullies to reach out to their victims and really hurt them. In a typical bullying situation, it happens in school, often in front of 10 or 20 students. Cyberbullying occurs online, in front of an audience of hundreds of millions. Parents have been warned about cyberbullying for years, giving them tips for what to look out for. Experts believe that parents should ask for their children’s passwords, and check up on them regularly. They are also told to watch their children’s behavior for signs that they are being bullied. Many cyberbullying attacks have sadly led to suicide attempts and even successful suicides. It is a sad truth, but it is where we are today. Unfortunately, there is a new problem for parents to watch out for thanks to the internet and social media, and it is called sadfishing. Here’s Why Parents Need To Be On The Lookout For The “Sadfishing” Trend On Social Media.
What Is Sadfishing?
Sadfishing is when someone makes exaggerated claims about their emotional problems to generate sympathy. It is a common reaction for someone who is going through a hard time or pretending to be going through a hard time. It is believed that sadfishing can hurt younger people and open them up to cyberbullying.
One perfect example of sadfishing came from Kendall Jenner. She told her internet followers that she had a deep secret to share. To add to the mystery, her mother, Kris Jenner, created a post that read, “I’m so proud of my darling for being so brave and vulnerable.” Many people believed that she would open up about her mental illness, and some thought that she might be coming out as gay. Fans couldn’t wait to hear her confession, only to be let down. It turned out that her post was just for a campaign for a beauty company. She admitted to having acne and was helping to sell skincare products. This created a new phenomenon in the internet world, called sadfishing. Kendall pretended that she had a serious issue when, in reality, everything in her world was fine.
Harmful To Children and Teens
While celebrities have been able to make money through sadfishing, it has been proven to be harmful to children and teens. Some kids use sadfishing to get the attention that they crave, only to be called out as being a liar. This results in more problems and cyberbullying. Other kids who actually do have emotional problems are accursed of lying or being insincere. These kids are also cyberbullied, and they are the ones who aren’t strong enough to handle it due to their existing emotional problems.
Kids Can Be Mean
One post shouldn’t be enough to ruin a kid’s life, but children and teens are mean. While seeking the comfort they desire, they are just bringing more problems into their lives. Many children have confirmed this theory. One young boy admitted that after sharing his feelings of depression with his home life, he got a gratifying response at first. Later, things turned sour. He says that the next day at school, he was accused of sadfishing to get attention, which led to him being bullied online and off.
What Can Parents Do?
Since most teens control their own social media pages, the only thing that parents can do is warn their children about the dangers of sadfishing. You should let your children know that there are other kids and predators who are just waiting for the opportunity to call someone out for sadfishing. Informing your children is the best thing that you can do to prevent the consequences that often occur from this internet phenomenon. Also, parents can check out their children’s social media feed to see what they are posting. If they see signs of sadfishing, it is important to shut it down immediately. The sooner the post is deleted, the less damage it can cause.
What Can Celebrities Do?
People in the public eye should understand that they are role models. If they are going to sadfish, their fans will also. Kendall Jenner is a perfect example of this, as are Justin Bieber and Adriana Grande. Celebrities should understand that everything they do and say can impact their fans; therefore, they should not only avoid sadfishing, but they should speak out against it.