Personal Jekyll and Internet Hyde: Two Faces of Your Teen

Feb
2014
12

posted by on Cybersafety, Internet Predators, Internet Privacy, Internet profile, Internet Safety, Online Safety, Online Security, Parenting, Parenting Teens, Teens and Technology

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SocialMediaTeensMany people have two sides to their personality. For some of these people, the balance is so completely disrupted that they can become manic in either happy or sad states. For your teen, the addition of hormones as well as a medium in which to vent freely can have a profound impact whether it is good or bad. Your child could be a down-to-Earth individual during dinner time, and be completely different while chatting online or interacting with others on social media sites. However, are there signs that you can see when your child’s private life is contrary to his or her actual social life?

Cloaking Feelings – Some teens can become exceptionally versed in hiding his or her true feelings from family and friends. With the development of the Internet, troubled teens have a method of reaching out trying to find acceptance when they believe none exists at home. A person, regardless of age, will do virtually anything to be accepted by peers. Even if it means making themselves look the fool in order to get attention.

It Will Always Be There – Unfortunately, children don’t see the ramification of using social media as a “soap box” for getting things off of their chest. To quote a popular YouTuber, “What goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet.” Millions of people have access to every bit of information you post on a timeline whether it’s good or bad. This information can easily come back to haunt a young teen – especially since many employers are turning to Facebook as a method of monitoring employees.

Face-less Time – The Internet provides a sense of anonymity in the eyes of some. It is much easier to confront or beguile someone online as the interpersonal connection does not exist. In other words, it’s easier to talk badly to someone that is not in front of you. It’s this sense of disconnection that makes it easier for many teens to become trolls in order to intentionally cause problems for others. Your teen could be self-conscious and shy in the real world, but extrovert and outspoken online.

Own Identity – Some attribute the sociopath behavior of teens as a form of de-individuation. Although this is a topic of heated discussion, it’s a concept that is accepted by many that describes a person’s own self-awareness in social groups. The belief is that a teen losing his or her own individual identity develops sociopathic behavior when in groups. To some, this could display two completely different aspects of a person’s demeanor. In an one-on-one setting, the teen could be a collected individual that shows great stability. However, the same teen’s online personification could be greatly altered in the group mindset.

Influenced by Others – Every teen wants to be accepted and liked by peers. With the extent of the Internet, peer pressure has increased exponentially. Not only is your child faced with stresses in real life, online friends from around the globe add to his or her discomfort as they try to make sense of the world.

As a parent, you need to be interactive with your child. This doesn’t mean you should invade his or her privacy every chance you get, but you should continuously attempt to include your teen as an individual. Make sure you are a “friend” on all of his or her social accounts and confront certain behaviors rationally. Remember, they are experiencing many things for the first time and need guidance over discipline.

Contributor: Always curious, Ashley Hardway is constantly learning and passionate about sharing what she learns with others. Based in Houston, Texas, she loves to help families grow stronger, help their environments and communities, and keep moving forward! Check out @NannyLady on Twitter to connect and find out more.

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