When Teens Cyberbully Themselves
April 21, 2018 JULI FRAGA https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/04/21/604073315/when-teens-cyberbully-themselves
Recent research and clinical psychologists now suggest that some adolescents are engaging in a newer form of self-aggression — digital self-harm. They’re anonymously posting mean and derogatory comments about themselves on social media.
According to a survey published late last year in the Journal of Adolescent Health, teens are bullying themselves online as a way to manage feelings of sadness and self-hatred and to gain attention from their friends.
“We were alarmed to learn that 6 percent of the youth who participated in our study engaged in some form of digital self-harm,” says Sameer Hinduja, co-author of the study and a professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University. He is also the co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.
“Because teens’ online and offline worlds overlap, digital self-harm is a concern for some youth, making online self-harm an emerging area of research,” says, Susan Swearer, a professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Because the advent of social media has changed the way many teens form and experience relationships, normal adolescent feelings of insecurity, anxiety and loneliness can become magnified as they scroll through their peers’ social media reels. Hinduja says some teens cope with that distress by turning their angst on themselves online.
more on cyberbullying in this IMS blog
more on digital citizenship in this IMS blog