The “Sadfishing” online trend is damaging the mental health of children

The “Sadfishing” online trend is damaging the mental health of children, a new report states.

Sadfishing is about posting a personal problem on social media to attract some support, sympathy, and attention from the followers.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, sadfishing is an act of writing about one’s emotional problems or sadness on social media. People do it particularly in a vague way to attract some attention and sympathies from others.

According to expert opinion, social media celebrities have particularly promoted this trend. They are accused of posting their personal problems and exaggerated opinions on social media to gain sympathy. The other purpose is to draw people towards their online links.

The increasing trend of sadfishing in young people

The new research by the Digital Awareness UK (DAUK) observed that many young individuals have serious mental health issues. These individuals sensibly look for online support through sadfishing.

However, they are facing upsetting and unwanted criticism. In many cases, this online rejection shatters the already stumbled self-esteem of young people. Some of them have also reported other people bullying them.

Moreover, in extreme cases, these young depressed people are groomed sexually online.

The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) commissioned this study of DAUK. The study is based on face-to-face interviews and included over 50,000 children of age between 11 to 16 years.

The DAUK has reported about the students who have faced bullying for sadfishing. In this way, their mental health declines further. The reports state that such students often feel disappointed for not getting the online support they expected.

The report added that there is a period during which young people develop and form their identities. It is understandable why they use the social media platform for gathering others’ opinions during this period.

Anyhow, while doing so, they are obviously presenting themselves for open criticism as well. As a consequence, positive feedbacks increase a person’s self-esteem. While the negative comments decrease it.

Read also: Myth Busted: Social Media Leads You to Depression

Impact of social media on young people

Groomers also use statements and comments that express the need for attention and sympathetic support. This way, they attract and contact with young people and gain their trust. Their purpose is just to exploit it later at some point.

Despite the related findings, the report has found that youngsters are now becoming tech-savvy. They are now using the technology in a proficient and responsible way.

Charlotte Robertson is the co-founder of the DAUK. She said that we have seen the evolution in the digital landscape at a very rapid pace over the last year. It is particularly related to the previous incidents of data misuse, accessing anonymous platforms and abrupt sharing of unwanted content.

Teenagers who spend more than three hours per day on social media are more vulnerable to mental health issues.

Once, the data collected from 6,595 youngsters of age between 12 and 15 years in the US. Researchers found that those youngsters who spent many hours of their day on social media had reported different issues. These include depression, loneliness, anxiety, aggression, sadness, and anti-social behaviors.

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