Kids Selfie Photographs on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter open to Bullying and Abuse

What happens when you mix social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with Teen Idols like the Miss Teen USA – Cassidy Wolf, Justin Biber, Miley Cyrus, One Direction – Harry Styles? Yes! Cyber-bullying, fears, tears and mega drama. 

A recent poll revealed that 1 in 10 kids as young as 10 years old has a smart phone with an inbuilt camera that is linked up to social media. A prominent News Paper states that a teenager will take over 1000 selfies photo in a year, peaking during the holidays/ vacation time or on big calendar events like at their BFFs birthday party. Now, hold your breath, when was the last time you check their photo albums? This is not a task for the faint hearted moms & dads!

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & More

Kids are publishing photos of themselves on sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to win the approval from their peers, who can ‘LIKE’ or comment on their images. But when they fail to attract the desired attention or approval this can damage their self confidence. This is a sign of early self awareness behaviour, and it is being debated across the academic field to it’s appropriateness in this young age group.


Fact File

  1. North Carolina, USA was the first state to charge students with Cyber-Bullying Crime.
  2. Queens, New York, Gabrielle Molina, aged 12 took her own life after being called a slut online
  3. England, Hannah Smith, aged 14 took her own life after she was bullied on a popular online forum

“Kids that are bullied are likely to experience anxiety, depression, loneliness, unhappiness, and poor sleep,” explains Jennifer N. Caudle, DO, an AOA board-certified family physician and assistant professor in the Department of Family at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. 

The majority of teens post the photos in search of assurance and compliments, but they are also making themselves vulnerable to negative comments, bullying and abuse.

Who can help?

In the case study number 3, when Hannah Smith’s dad try seek help from the popular social media platform, based on Sky News reporting, this is what happened allegedly.
Speaking to Sky News, David Smith said: “I sent them an email and they blocked my email – so I can’t contact – and they’ve never contacted me.
“It shows just how much they care. They don’t. They’re making money – lots and lots of money out of people’s misery, and that is not right.”
(see the full transcript in the link)
The huge publicity and outcry lead to the major advertisers of the popular social media platform to change their policy and to finally assist the Police to start an investigation to seek out the responsible culprits that contributed to the demise of the young innocent girl.
Please find below a few starting points if you are concern about your kids online safety. – Cyber Bullying Research Center for the US readers – Cyber Bullying Government source for teachers and schools in the US – for our British readers
@FFM, we would urge parents to pay extra attention around this time of year as the new school term is about to begin. 

What else can I do?

FFM partnered up with MyStorio publishing to develop a Parents Tip Sheet below.
Spotting the Emotional Signs
  1. Becomes withdrawn or shy
  2. Shows signs of depression
  3. Is extremely moody or agitated
  4. Is anxious or overly stressed out
  5. Shows signs of aggressive behavior
Spotting the Academic Signs
  1. Doesn’t want to go to school
  2. Gets into trouble at school
  3. Skips school
  4. Loses interest in school
  5. Drops in grades
Spotting the Change in Social Behaviour
  1. Suddenly stops using the computer
  2. Changes eating or sleeping habits (e.g., nightmares)
  3. No longer wants to participate in activities once
  4. enjoyed
  5. Hurts self, attempts or threatens suicide
  6. Suddenly changes friends
Signs that a teen may be bullying others**
  1. Stops using the computer or turns off the screen when someone comes near
  2. Appears nervous or jumpy when using the computer or cell phone
  3. Is secretive about what they are doing on the computer
  4. Spends excessive amounts of time on the computer
  5. Becomes upset or angry when computer or cell phone
  6. privileges are limited or taken away
Keep in mind that cyberbullying may be happening on top of other victimization. Teens may be experiencing physical bullying, dating violence, harassment, stalking, or other forms of victimization.
We hope this post will help to raise awareness in parents the real dangers of cyber bullying, the good work of these organisations out there and mostly to pay respect to the innocent victims & their family. Please share this post with your family and friends if you feel they will benefit from the info.
With Love & Respect

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