Are you sharing too much?
Secret sharing on Social media is a great avenue for self-expression you think. You can post basically whatever text or pictures you want and get a near immediate reaction.“One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.” ―However, there is an inherent danger in this freedom to reveal to strangers.
Revealing secret for attention
Many people, especially teens, overwhelmed by events or the state of their lives, take to expressing their sorrow on social media.This practice has been dubbed ‘sadfishing’: posting on social media—often in a vague, exaggerated way—to get a sympathetic response
The Dangers of Oversharing on Social Media
Some people who do this feel they have no other way to let it out. Other times, it’s a call for help. Although people roll their eyes at this kind of thing, it can be very serious. Teenagers, especially, often feel they can’t express their true thoughts and feelings in person.
They may think their parents or other adults won’t understand. And so, they turn to social media, a place where they feel safe amongst their virtual friends and peers. The sad truth, though, is that the internet can be a dangerous place, and this oversharing can backfire. People often have ‘friends’ on social media that they don’t even know. And these strangers gain access to the poster’s private emotional social media personalities.
Cyber sharing warnings
Some of these strangers are predatory; they will pretend to be a shoulder to cry on, while instead seeking to take advantage of the perceived ‘weakness’ to lure unsuspecting victims into a false sense of security. Then, once they gain trust, they lean the conversation towards their true goals.
In some cases, though, the people who sadfish are the ones doing the manipulating.
Sharing secret & your feelings
They exaggerate and outright lie to gain sympathy. Once they have that, they convince the generous person on the other side of the internet to give them money or other things. Others tell these kinds of lies just for fun.
Whatever the case, posting these things online is a sign that something is wrong. It may be hard to identify the difference at first, though. Someone who overshares sad things as a cry for help needs just that: Help. Posts about suicide, self-harm, or violence, especially, are red flags.
Even many of those who are telling lies for attention and ‘lulz’ are clearly in need of guidance. They need to be taught that manipulating people that way is wrong.
Social media can be a beautiful tool, but it must be used safely. As a parent or guardian, teach your children to stop and think before posting. Have them ask themselves:
• Is it true?
• Is it safe?
• Do I really want everyone on my contact list to see this?
That’s not enough, though. In order to prevent [sadfishing-like behavior] It is crucial that people feel safe enough to talk to family and friends about the things that are happening in their lives.
Nurture that kind of environment and relationship so that your teen will feel safe talking to you and won’t overshare online.
A healthy social media experience stems from a healthy in-real-life experience.