“Am I fat?”
“I am so depressed. Please help! I have been scoring less, my parents don’t understand me… my brilliant siblings treat me with disdain… my girlfriend has broken up with me….”
“Thanks! That’s why I feel a connect with you- you really get me (no one else does!) ….”
“I am closing my Facebook account for a while. I have fallen but I promise you I will rise again, like the Phoenix and will proudly stand before you once again. For now, I am going away. Please don’t try to contact me.”
“I hate you ********!”
All the above statements are variations of real ones posted on different social media platforms by adolescents. Do spare a few moments thinking about the posts- I spent days. What are your thoughts on these? How do you feel about getting a direct look into the hearts of these innocent and confused children?
It is both saddening and worrying that kids are turning to the Internet to find solutions to their problems. But what propels them to trust strangers?
Why do adolescents overshare online?
Embarrassing topics: The would-be adults have many doubts about adult life that they feel shy or scared to discuss with their parents
Emotional outbursts: Adolescence is a time for emotional upheavals and the kids find social media the best place to voice their thoughts
False sense of privacy: As they are not connecting one-to-one in real life, children feel more comfortable discussing and sharing personal matters with online friends
No fear of recrimination: This is one reason why they may not open up to adults at home
Peer pressure: If most of their friends are venting on social media, your kids are likely to follow suit