The rules and norms of communication have changed as mobile technology continues to be developed in a way befitting our needs. Teenagers today find themselves more involved in the world of apps, with each app tailored to ease their work or customized to suit their needs for more information or entertainment. While pressing the keys allows us to communicate sans the cognitive task needed in transferring information, app usage has drastically changed the way we interact.
While dependence on apps among teenagers is difficult to be curtailed, concerned guardians need to keep a careful watch on their wards’ use of anonymous feedback apps like Sarahah that are raising concerns of cyberbullying behavior affecting teens. These apps, originally developed to take friendship to the next level by allowing admirers and critics provide an honest feedback, are being largely misused for bullying.
Emphasizing on bullying prevalence
Researchers have stressed how online bullying has increased in the past few years, with rise in anonymous feedback apps marketed under the garb of “honesty” sites. Use of these apps, while keeping the information of its users veiled, have largely facilitated bullying, thus resulting in accelerated depression rates among its users. A NOBullying.com report reveals how 25 percent of American teenagers experienced recurring bullying on their cell phones. In addition, roughly 52 percent of young Americans have reported being cyberbullied.
The problem of cyberbullying is not limited to passing damaging remarks or making derogatory comments online. Nearly one-third of the teens who had complained being harassed due to cyberbullying have reported receiving online threats from their bullies. Child safety experts are concerned about how kids are constantly falling prey to comments uploaded against them on the websites. While many adolescents share their feelings with their guardians, there are many who tend to keep the pain to themselves, thus aggravating their risk of depression.
Parents are more concerned than ever about how increased social media use is hampering the mental health of their teenaged children, particularly girls, by causing them depression and anxiety. Experts stress how the opportunity to remain incognito while commenting or responding paves the way for bullying others, especially those gullible and vulnerable as people tend to post nasty messages on anonymized websites.
Avoiding bullying experiences
Parents of affected adolescents now persuade their daughters to delete such apps from their cell phones, while schools are educating their students about the risks associated with the use of such apps. Though the apps warn against use by people aged below 17 years, there is no way for Play Store or iTunes to verify the age of those downloading them.
To raise awareness about the pervasiveness of cyberbullying and the nature and extent of damage it may cause to mental health of the concerned, the United States observes October each year as National Bullying Prevention Month. Adolescence is an intermediate phase of physiological and psychological development during which teenagers go through various changes. Health advocates emphasize on the need to put a stop to racism, discrimination, hatred, homophobia and digital abuse in schools and colleges.
Almost all social networking sites face the problem of their users suffering bullying. To prevent this, social networking sites are now using filters to detect any violations or stop any further instance of bullying behavior.
Recovery road map
Bullying can cause depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. To prevent aggravation of the condition, it is necessary to seek expert help. Teenage social anxiety disorder is common in the U.S. If your ward is suffering from anxiety or any other mental problem, seek treatment immediately.
Sovereign Health provides evidence-based treatment programs for mental disorders like anxiety, depression and teen social phobia disorder. Clinicians at our Rancho San Diego facility for teens recommend a combination of medications and behavioral therapies to ensure complete recovery. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives to know more about our teen anxiety treatment centers in your vicinity.