Teen Hashtags: What Every Parent Ought to Know

By Toni Birdsong

hashtags, teens, suicide, thinspro, anorexia, cyberbullying

Hashtags have become a normal part of everyday vernacular thanks to social media. By simply putting a pound (#) sign in front of a word or acronym, such as #tbt (throw back Thursday) social network users especially on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and now Facebook, can easily join a specific conversation on that topic. Often, hashtags define conversations and spread quickly throughout the online world (yes, kind of like gossip).

Increasingly, more than just define a conversation, hashtags can be used as verbal extensions that express hate, love, irony, or humor.

In the world of teen communication, however, a hashtag can provide valuable insight and emotional red flags for a parent . . . if that parent is paying attention.

For instance, some concerning hashtags that have emerged include #thighgap, a hashtag used by young girls who want to be so skinny that when they put their legs together their thighs don’t touch. Closely related to #thighgap are hashtags such as #thinspro, #thinspiration, and #ana; all hashtags used by people (often teens) talking about anorexia or some form of eating disorder.

Other eating disorders hashtags might include:
#secretsociety123, #imnotokay, #bulimic, #ed, #bulimia, #fakesmile, #eatingdisorder, #bonespo, #anorexic #depression #anorexia #hipbones #purge #worthless #anxiety #mia #helpme #binge …read more

Read the full article here: http://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/teen-hashtags-every-parent-know



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