What Is Sadfishing And Why Leaders & Parents Need To Know
By : Whitney Fleming
Source : Your Teen
When my twin daughters were halfway through sixth grade, we started a shared Instagram account under our dog’s name. The three of us could post photos of our pet, and my girls could also do what they truly wanted, which was to follow their friends, many of whom had been on Instagram for a year or two already. More importantly, I could see everything that was going on to ensure that our first foray into social media was as safe as possible.
As their friends list grew, I watched one particular girl post photos and videos of herself crying. She often talked about feeling left out or sad because of something that happened at school. Sometimes 40 or 50 tweens would respond with messages like, “We love you so much, you are so beautiful!” or “Come on BFF, you’re gorgeous!” Other times, she would take it down a few minutes later.
The posts unnerved me as a mom. When I asked my young daughters about it, they were unsure. “Mom, she seems fine in school. She never cries and acts totally normal.”
Seeing that young girl’s posts was our first experience with the ongoing phenomenon known as sadfishing.
“Sadfishing is a relatively new term coined by writer Rebecca Reid in January 2019,” says Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov, a law professor and founder of DigitalParentingCoach.com.