Messages that supposedly disappear after ten seconds. Forums that allow users to post comments anonymously. “Selfies.”
How are some of the latest social media trends really affecting our kids? My piece on these app features is in the Huffington Post. Click here to view the article and share it, or read the excerpt below:
The Teen Vanishing Act: How the Latest Social Media Trends Are Hurting Our Kids
The insults kept pouring in, the middle schooler told me, until she read one that made it nearly impossible for her to concentrate on her schoolwork.
‘U should die,’ an anonymous poster had written.
She had stopped me after a presentation I’d given at her school about social media, and explained the nightmare she suffered the previous school year after creating a profile on Ask.fm, a social media site that allows people to leave nameless, faceless comments on other’s profiles. At least seven teen suicides have been linked to Ask.fm in the last two years.
Hours later I presented to 200 parents at the same school. When I asked how many of them were familiar with Ask.fm, only two hands went up.
For the past few years, I’ve seen teens shift their social media habits to apps and sites that provide illusions of ephemeral and anonymous interactions — illusions that are quickly eroding their social and emotional well-being, and can be deadly.