Sue Scheff: Teens harassing teens as a another form of cyberbullying: Formspring.me in full color

Have you visited Facebook lately?  One group on Facebook is people, especially parents of teens and tweens, that have banned together to Boycott Formspring.me.  With nearly 7500 fans, considered “likes,” these people are letting their concerns be heard. 

As bullying is escalating in our country, cyberbullying is growing rapidly.  With sites like Formspring.me, it only fuel the fire of cyber sticks and stones that burn and scar emotionally. 

Recently Danah Boyd wrote an excellent article after doing research on this hot topic amongst parents of teens and tweens.  Titled, Harassment by Q&A: Initial Thoughts on Formspring.me, Danah’s hypothesis is the following:

Teen girls engaged in responding to crass questions are using Formspring to prove that they’re tough to their peers. Teen boys and girls are throwing curve balls at their peers to see how much they can handle, primarily using mean-spirited and sexualized language. While staying tough is clearly part of the game, it’s also clear from my informants that the harassment is playing a psychological toll. I’ve talked to numerous parents who are shocked by how their children’s peers are using this site and in most cases, knowledgeable parents demand that their children delete their profiles at once. One parent told me the story of her daughter’s friend who didn’t want to take her profile down because it would “look weak.” This girl and her mother got into a huge fight over Formspring because the girl didn’t want to let on that she cared about what people were saying about her on the site. I can’t help but think about my own teen years and my attempts to look unfazed by swirling rumors while throwing up in the bathroom when no one was looking. – Read her entire article here.

As a parent, do you know if your teen or tween is engaging in Formspring.me?  Many parents are outraged over this new form of harassment, it seems clear it is  just another form to teens to emotionally scar teens.  It is time this stops. 

Boycott Formspring Group states the following:

As many of you probably know, many people are bullied, harassed, and abused on this site called Formspring. Formspring is nothing but negativity. All it does is make people upset due to insults and harassment. Don’t let formspring take another life. Join the movement. Delete yours now.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

 

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