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.
- North Carolina, USA was the first state to charge students with Cyber-Bullying Crime.
- Queens, New York, Gabrielle Molina, aged 12 took her own life after being called a slut online
- England, Hannah Smith, aged 14 took her own life after she was bullied on a popular online forum ASK.fm
“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.
Who can help?
What else can I do?
- Becomes withdrawn or shy
- Shows signs of depression
- Is extremely moody or agitated
- Is anxious or overly stressed out
- Shows signs of aggressive behavior
- Doesn’t want to go to school
- Gets into trouble at school
- Skips school
- Loses interest in school
- Drops in grades
- Suddenly stops using the computer
- Changes eating or sleeping habits (e.g., nightmares)
- No longer wants to participate in activities once
- Hurts self, attempts or threatens suicide
- Suddenly changes friends
- Stops using the computer or turns off the screen when someone comes near
- Appears nervous or jumpy when using the computer or cell phone
- Is secretive about what they are doing on the computer
- Spends excessive amounts of time on the computer
- Becomes upset or angry when computer or cell phone
- privileges are limited or taken away