With social media firmly embedded in our daily lives, there is a new form of self-harm emerging amongst adolescents: digital self-harm. This includes posting cruel or hurtful comments anonymously on their own social media posts and accounts. NPR recently posted an article discussing some recent studies of teen mental health and bullying. Of the teens studied who reported engaging in digital self-harm, some say they do this to decrease the harmful comments they may receive from others, to prove they are tough, or to get attention from friends or adults. Others said it was a way to see if someone is really their friend.
"Because teens' online and offline worlds overlap, digital self-harm is a concern for some youth, making online self-harm an emerging area of research," says Susan Swearer, a professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, who also studies bullying.
With studies showing that self-harm is on the rise in certain groups of teens, this is something to keep an eye on. Learn more by reading NPR’s article, “When Teens Cyberbully Themselves”.