This is a true story.
I can’t tell you all the details, but I can tell you enough.
There is something trending with our teenagers that we need to be aware of. Have you heard of social media apps such as Sarahah? The ENTIRE purpose of the app is to allow someone to gain anonymous feedback and comments from people within their permitted “friend” group.
A teenager recently shared that she was wondering what people thought of her. So she laid on her bed, took a break from snapchat, and started a stream of conversation on an app similar to Sarahah with something like “tell me your thoughts”. She sat alone in her room and waited to hear the opinions of others (remember..she doesn’t know who is responding. She knows it is one of her “friends” but not which one).
She soon sat in disbelief as the meanest, nastiest, most hurtful messages popped across her cell phone. She read them to me. They were horrific. There were a few nice ones. But really they got lost in the darkness.
Can you imagine what that felt like? I can tell you. It devastated her. She cried. She got angry. She responded back with venomous words…out of a place of hurt. And so the cycle is created. Or continued?
Parents. These apps and these behaviors are DESTROYING the confidence of our children. They are destroying our sons' and daughters' ability to have healthy relationships because they don't trust. It is hurting them. And here is the other thing. Many teenagers aren’t going to come and tell you about it because (perhaps) they weren’t supposed to have this app in the first place.
So now, they will sit alone with their devastation and low self-esteem with little to no comfort. Not because you don't care. Because you don't know. They will wonder not only who said those terrible things, but if they are true.
This is a cycle we have to stop. It is hurting our children.
How can we help?
1. LOOK at your son/daughters phones!
2. Have conversations with your son/daughter about these things, inquiring if this type of thing has ever happened to them. DO NOT WAIT until they will come to you.
3. Teach your children the VERY serious impact of their words, even if they are “anonymous”. Teach them to not be the one on the other end making these destructive remarks. Teach them how to stop the cycle.
If you need help creating boundaries around technology, or dealing with the effects of the above mentioned cycle, we can help! www.truenorthtw.com