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Sadfishing on Social Media: Seek Emotional Support but Not for Parents

Sadfishing on Social Media

Sadfishing is a term that describes a situation whereby someone goes on to share their personal problem on social media. It is usually perceived to be a leeway of sympathy, aimed to hook other users while drumming up publicity.

Popular scenario is of Kendall Jenner when she shared her experiences on Instagram about struggling with acne. But this later turned into a new campaign to shill skincare. Henceforth, young people have followed the trend, posting about problems and sharing their feelings online.

All in all, sadfishing has been labeled as toxic and harmful. As users seek sympathy, other online predators take advantage of their situations and lure them into other dangerous grounds. If dangers are prone, then why are teens sadfishing? Let’s see about that in the next sub-topic.

Sadfishing on social media

Why are teens sadfishing on social media?

Many reasons attest to why teens sadfish on social media. Even though some reasons may be genuine, others do it for absurd reasons.

    • For attention

Some teens feel that they are not being accorded enough attention. So, going online to seek sympathizers puts them in a state of belonging. And given that this is the age when they want to prove their self-worth, teens may want to overdo certain things like express their emotions more deeply.

sadfishing for attention

    • Low self-esteem

Teens are in a delicate state of upbringing. Low self-esteem will certainly creep in at certain points in their lives. They mostly want to compare themselves to others and want to prove that they can also perform certain things better. But when things don’t turn upright in the normal world, theirs is to seek greater things somewhere else like social media. So they could just be looking for compliments for self-satisfaction when they sadfish.

Low self-esteem

    • Loneliness

Being in this state is not so pleasing and teens may find a chance to post about their emotional problems. They probably feel that it is in social media where they’ll get like-minded people. Other users will obviously respond and show care. This may perhaps help in driving out the loneliness concept.


    • Fear of sharing feelings with close family members

Perhaps some teens feel that people outside there can be of more help than the immediate family members. There is freedom when they move to the outside world away from the close members of the family. They then rather share their feelings by sadfishing and toll for attention.

Fear of shareing information with family

    • Anti-social behavior

This is for those who feel that there are no friends to hang onto. Perhaps they are not bold enough to stand up for themselves physically. And since social media equates to almost everybody, they can act boldly. Such teens opt to share their feelings on social media as this is where they find freedom of speech.

Antisocial behavior

    • For help

Some teens genuinely need help hence sadfishing will lead others to know of their current situation. Especially if they are not properly guided, they may feel as though that is the right thing to do. They’ll eventually feel better when others respond positively.

Sadfishing for help

    • Trolling

This is a sense of wanting to prove your worth. Some teens will troll just to see if they can hook a big magnitude of an audience to themselves. So, they’ll try to attract as many people as possible just for others to see that they have the numbers behind them. In such cases, sadfishing proves to be catchy, with tons of sympathizers and caregivers.


The Warning Signs of Teen Sadfishing

When your teen cannot hold his/her emotional capacity and decides to take it on social media, there are dire consequences that are likely to follow. In most cases, many people will not understand them, driving them to quire behaviors.

    • Being suicidal

Being Suicidal

A teen that’s into sadfishing may exhibit suicidal behaviors. This will depend on the kind of responses he/she gets from sadfishing. When they feel that their point is not reaching home, they may think it’s better for people to live without them.

    • Deepening depression

deepening depression

A feeling of an unaccomplished mission could slowly crop into the mind of any teen who feels that nobody is on her/his side. If not arrested early enough, it could lead to permanent mental disorders in teens. Depression is slowly killing both the young and old. Furthermore, the minds of these young ones may not cope with the burdens they may be experiencing.

    • Feeling trapped

Feeling Trapped

At times, they’ll feel like they have to achieve a certain goal. Especially if it is trolling! A sense of being locked in one situation until you overcome your weaknesses may trap such teens. This will deviate their attention from studying and doing other constructive activities. If not worked on early enough, it could also lead to severe mental problems.

    • Feeling worthless

Feeling worthless

If the immediate family members can’t understand such a teen, it may ring a bell that he/she is absolutely worthless. Such emptiness is something that they cannot hide for long. Such a condition may slowly deprive them of peace, opening doors to other serious cases like illusions and memory lapse.

    • Online addiction

Online addiction

Such groups also always want to know what people think about their situations. So, they’ll hang in there hoping to find sympathizers to accord them emotional support. Sadfishing may cause one to be glued to the internet to an extent of addiction.

How parents protect teens from sadfishing?

Evidently, sadfishing is slowly driving teens into uncalled for behaviors. If not carefully looked into, it may be fatal including loss of life. That’s why parents need to take precautions over their kids’ actions by controlling what they do on social media.

    1. Understand and relate to your teen

Seeking help from social media is not a very good sign. Most teens opt to use this path for lack of someone close to approach or ask for help. The motive behind this is hoping that someone may notice that they’re hurting and probably get a sympathizer or help.

Once you are your teen’s friend as a parent, he/she will find it easy to approach you when any need arises.

    1. Talk to them about sadfishing dangers

Many dangers are echoed from sadfishing. Making your child aware of such may change their perception by confiding in social media users. However, in serious situations, you may opt to engage a professional like a counselor to talk to your teens. This may apply to depression or suicidal attempted cases. What matters is that you are available for talks and willing to go the extra mile just to make your teen feel that they belong.

    1. Use parental control mechanism

As a parent, you can also employ parental control mechanisms to control your child over sadfishing. The availability of apps has made it possible for parents to carry out distance monitoring of social media content and other nitties like call and browser history. Numerous Softwares come with distinct features to help you carry out specific tasks. FamiSafe is currently the most reliable parental control app you can use to safeguard your children. Apart from enabling you to come up with good digital habits, it also helps you to keep track of what your child does on social media.

FamiSafe Parental Control

  • Web Filtering
  • Location Tracking & Geo-fencing
  • App Blocker & App Activity Report
  • Screen Time Limit & Schedule
  • Explicit Content & Suspicious Photos Detection

FamiSafe Features

Activity Report

Your kid’s phone activity timeline will show you which social media accounts he/she visited and for how long. And with the top most-used apps, you are able to identify what your kid is up to. So, whether your kid uninstalls an app or installs an additional app, the information shall be at your fingertips. Simply follow everything up without checking your kid’s phone every day.

Explicit content detection

This feature allows you to monitor text messages in various social media apps like Messager Lite, WhatsApp, SMS, Instagram, and YouTube, among many others. Simply create alerts and you’ll get an immediate alert anytime such suspicious words appear in your kid’s phone.

You can carry out social media monitoring by connecting your child’s account and keeping track of inappropriate keywords from the text that he/she receives and sends. Furthermore, it’s easier to detect signs of online usage abuse like pornography and cyberbullying. Likewise, this feature opens doors to the viewing of any video history or block unwanted channels on your kid’s Android OS device.

Explicit Content Detection

When teens opt for sadfishing, they are mainly seeking attention from the online community. However, there could be more underlying psychological issues when someone goes beyond the sympathy seeking level. It is, therefore, upon parents to understand their teens’ emotional needs. There are many dangers which teens face once they start seeking emotional support from social media. However, all is not lost, especially with the reliable parental control app. Parents can use FamiSafe to safeguard their kids online. It’s highly effective and easy to operate with simple steps.

editor image

Moly Swift

staff Editor