Self-Cyberbullying: Teenagers’ Cries for Help Go Digital

YouthMinistry.com | 5/17/2018 | David R Smith
emilia (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://2e2kda1m9pm41j3ob93smm8e-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/upload/ymprod/samuel-zeller-34774-unsplash.jpg

“Your face is why filters were invented.”

“Are you Jabba the gutt?”

Date - ****

“I never date **** like you.”

Ahh, just another day spent strolling through the mean streets of the comments section.

Part - Comments - Research - Jabs - Teens…about

But the craziest part about these comments is, if new research is correct, some of these jabs were posted by teens…about themselves.

In a digital age that offers human nature the option of anonymous trolling, harsh comments are a guarantee. Sometimes, mean comments – a form of cyberbullying – cause kids to just roll their eyes; they mutter “idiot” under their breath and move on. However, sometimes these mean comments can push youth to take their own lives. More than 40% of today’s kids endure some sort of online bullying, and they aren’t alone. Even celebrities experience cyberbullying.

% - Kids - Generation - Z - Dr

Granted, 6% may not sound like much, but that represents several million kids from Generation Z. Dr. Sheryl Gonzalez-Ziegler, a child psychologist practicing in Denver, has come across this phenomenon in the lives of some of her young patients. Speaking anonymously about one of her young female patients who’s committed self-cyberbullying, Gonzalez-Ziegler said the girl, “feared being mocked by her peers. She thought their teasing wouldn’t be so bad if she beat them to the punch.” While caring adults can probably empathize with that sentiment, most would also agree it’s not a good strategy for dealing with peer pressure and criticism.

Currently, not much is known about this self-destructive tendency. Perhaps kids view self-cyberbullying the same way they do cutting: as a pressure relief valve for pain. It’s a cry for help that draws attention to oneself in the attempt to “interrupt negative feelings,” for example, depression, anxiety, upsets, failures, etc. Regardless of the reason(s), teenagers probably don’t realize the damage they’re doing to their reputations as they seek solutions to their problems.

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