New face of cyber bullying in social media

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A recent trend has emerged in social media wherein teenage girls take photos posted by their peers on social networks and mock them, making unkind comments about their choice of clothing and general appearance. This new type of “teen shaming” is growing in popularity and many teens are suffering from hurt feelings as a result.

Across social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, pages such as “Hey Girls, Did You Know?” feature silly pictures with rude captions that have been imitated by other girls.

17-year-old Alley Guscott told ABC News that girls post their own pictures and then other females repost the photos to make fun of the original poster. According to experts, this behaviour is categorised as a new form of cyber bullying and they target certain teens who are well aware of the derision.

Dr. Logan Levkoff, a sexuality educator, feels that teenagers will continue to use technology to ridicule others anonymously unless parents intervene. To prevent this, the teens’ parents and friends should monitor their activity and tell them that it is harmful to make fun of others.

This form of teen shaming also reveals the insecurities of the perpetrators, according to 16-year-old Sarah Mays: “It’s likely that those teens are presently dealing with their own insecurities, that’s why they deride others,” she said.

Interestingly, although this new form of cyber teasing is still prevalent, countermeasures have also emerged. For example, instead of ridiculing the photos, some teens post messages of support, telling others that they are beautiful and should ignore those who say otherwise.