teens

'Social media is destroying my daughter's self esteem.'

One of the difficulties of raising a teenage daughter is watching her being excluded by her so-called friends.

My daughter forged new friendships when she started high school.  At last, I thought, she has found a nice group of girls whom with she can relate.  This group have been friends for four years.

During the school holidays, things changed.  My daughter would message her friends asking them if they wanted to catch up.  No one would reply.  She could see that they’d ‘read’ the message, but there was no response.

This is where social media steps in. No betrayal remains a secret.

A couple of days later, photos are all over social media showing all four of my daughter’s friends, out together at the local shopping centre, hanging out and having fun.  Why didn’t they invite my daughter,  I don’t know.  This kind of thing has happened a few times over the holidays.

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After finally getting a hold of one friend, she mentioned seeing a movie together.  Her friend said yes.  My daughter mentioned to the friend that another of their friends would probably like to see it too.  Later that week my daughter finds out, via social media, that the friend she agreed to go to the movies with, did go to the movies - but with another of their friends.

These friends go out and post pictures of what they are doing.  My daughter sees the posts and wonders why she was not invited, considering she was the one who suggested it.  “Why?” she asked one of the girls, despondent.  “Oh, it was a last minute thing!” was the reply.

She once organised an outing for Wednesday, only for it to be cancelled on Tuesday night.  On the Wednesday afternoon social media was plastered with photos of the rest of the girls having a sleepover. My daughter texted and asked, “I thought you were busy?” “Oh, sorry,” says this friend.  Of course it obvious to me that this friend got what she considered a better offer and ditched my daughter.

It’s hurts my daughter and it hurts me seeing her go through this.  My daughter is kind and sweet and unfortunately easily walked over.  I want my daughter to be confident and strong in her friendships.  I want her to have friends that return the friendship that she gives. And I want her to be safe from the harm of seeing her betrayal at the hands of her friends writ large all over social media.

 

There was a time when she'd spared the pain of their 'cheating'. She'd never see what they do behind her back. Now she must look at bright, happy images of the people she calls friends having fun without her.

She has one more year of high school and she is realistic that these friends won’t be in her life after that.  But she has to get through this last year. Every time she looks at her social media accounts, she's being reminded that she's been left out.  And it's shocking that these girls don't even seem to care.

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