Social media is amazing and let you connect with new people all over the world. When you are anonymous it can be even easier to ask those really deep questions that help you make good friends. But life isn’t always great, and young people use social media apps to share the difficult stuff too.
We know that when people are anonymous online, they can start to do and say things without thinking and are just spontaneous. This can be a great relief if you’re having a hard time at school or with your friends and family. It can also be a great way to explore who you are and what you like and what you don’t like.
When anon apps get complicated
But using anonymous apps can get complicated when we start to send messages to ourselves. This is not as strange as it sounds, because people often talk to themselves, including really successful people. It’s like having a conversation with yourself, to think through difficult issues or problems. Sometimes it’s a way of trying to give yourself confidence or courage, motivating you to do something.
At ASKfm we have noticed that sometimes people do not just say positive things to themselves, they also send themselves unkind, hateful and bullying messages. But why would anyone do that?
One thing that makes us feel good is a feeling that we are in control of at least some things in our lives, and we have friends and family around that listen and support us. But sometimes instead of support there is stress. When everything feels a bit out of control we might do something we know makes things even worse. All that frustration needs somewhere to go. And when it can’t go anywhere else, we start to ‘take it out on our selves’ and even hate ourselves. This happens a lot when people get depressed, are frustrated and anxious.
Hate is never makes things better
ASKfm believes strongly that when we respect each other we feel better about ourselves and others and have better time. That’s why hate will be removed from the site, as it makes nothing better. We can get angry and upset about important issues, but that doesn’t mean it can be turned to hate.
ASKfm will also remove hurtful and hateful comments even if you send them to yourself. It might seem less important and a way of coping at a hard time, but when you see that hate, no matter who wrote it, it starts to chip away at your self-esteem, and somewhere inside we can start to feel it’s real.
Look for support
If you are writing hateful messages to yourself, ASKfm wants you to reach out, if you need, and seek support to help you through difficult and bad times. That might not be what you want, but it is better than blaming yourself when times are tough. ASKfm also wants you to be and develop in the way you want to. Some people can send themselves hateful messages as they think it will sort out problems with friends, or even help you get new friends and followers. It might, but then these would be friends caught up in something a bit fake (?) and complicated, so look here for tips on other ways to make friends on ASKfm: http://support.ask.fm
There is help available wherever you are. Look for helplines which support young people in your country: