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Digital Self Harm

People are bulling themselves online…

According to Sameer Hinduja, a professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University, 1 out 20 cyberbullying cases are self inflicted.

Researchers started to take notice of digital self harm after a 14 year old girl in England hanged herself in 2013. The child had been reportedly receiving harassing messages online for months through Ask.fm. Turned out 98% of the messages that were sent were coming from the same IP address the girl was using.

In their study, researchers found teens who identified as non-heterosexual were three times more likely to bully themselves online, while victims of cyberbullying were 12 times more likely to cyberbully themselves.

Researchers are concerned with any links between suicide and digital self harm. Especially since suicide rates among teenagers has steadily increased in the last ten years.

But why?

When asked why they engaged in digital self-harm, boys were more likely to say they did it as a joke or to get attention, while girls often said they did it because they were struggling with depression.

In their research they also found that social media plays a role in increasing mental health issues among young people.

The head researcher hopes this study will open up a dialogue about mental health and self harm.

 

Opinion

We need to teach children from a young age about self love. Maybe keeping children off of social media until they have a strong idea of who they are as a person would help. Then they will not let other people’s opinion of them effect how they view themselves as a person.

 

What do you think?