TBH – I wish you kids valued yourselves more

i-love-myself

For anyone who doesn’t know what a tbh is, first off, lucky you. It stands for – to be honest and it is a thing kids do on Facebook where their status reads: ” like this status for a tbh” and then when their “friends” ” like” the status they then put a comment on that persons wall stating how they feel about that person. Usually this comment is a gushing, positive declaration on what a great friend the person is and how cute/funny/adorable/hot etc they are. However, sometimes it is used to blast/tear down the person or acknowledge how little they know someone who is listed as a “friend”. Frequently there is then a number placed at the end of the tbh and this is the part I find abhorrent. This number is a rating from 0-10 on the child’s looks and overall appeal. Yep, you read that right. There is also a rate or date status which is exactly what it sounds like. These kids tell their peers what they rate them and if they would date them or not.

This to me is wrong on so many levels. Why are these kids wanting to assign a number to someone else’ value. Why would they need to hold that power over another person? More upsetting, why are these kids allowing someone to affect their self esteem this way. Why are they voluntarily giving another person the opportunity to judge them publicly and by participating making it clear that they care what the person’s opinion is of them. How insecure, narcissistic and damaging is this process. I remember being a teen and having crushes. The worst thing would be not to have the feelings returned but with this system the kids have created, you now are faced with public humiliation. At best it’s passive aggressive bullying with these kids allowing themselves to be bullied. I know, I know, they hope to get positive feedback but why chance it? There will always be someone who doesn’t like you.

As parents are we failing our kids by not instilling in them the knowledge that they need to believe in themselves and not rely on the opinion of others to validate their self worth? Are we not building them up enough? Are we not teaching them to value each individual as they are, perceived flaws and all? Are we not educating them on good morals and the importance of doing no harm. We all grew up with bullies, we remember their taunts but isn’t the damage that much more severe when it comes from someone you consider to be a friend. I don’t think many of these kids realize what they are doing but it is important to show them how hurtful this can be.

tbhI was so proud to see a friend of my youngest, a 15 year old girl wise beyond her years, address this very issue in her status.

Why do we give each other rates? We shouldn’t “rate” a person…what a great way to ruin one’s self esteem…
-S.S

So for any kids out there reading this, the next time one of your friends puts as their status -like for a TBH -please reply……. no thanks, I like myself too much for that.

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9 thoughts on “TBH – I wish you kids valued yourselves more

  1. I agree with you! I have a few younger friends on my facebook, and they say “like for a like” or “like for a comment” or something, which drives me bonkers. But “like for a tbh”? That’s just shit. As someone who was bullied as a child, I even hate the idea of Facebook! That means that the “cool kids” can say mean shit about the “nerdy kids” and make themselves even cooler because, hey! Who doesn’t pay attention to what the cool kids say and take every words as gospel?! Ugh!

  2. What? Kids are mean enough without technology. I swear, if I ever find out Jp is being bullied, I will reign hellfire on a kid. Yep, I said that. I have no shame. 😉

  3. Really that’s not what it’s like at all. I’m 14 and I do these all the time on Instagram. Yeah some kids can be mean but everyone likes it at there own risk and honestly the worst thing that could happen on a tbh is someone saying they don’t know you. What you’ve been describing is a TBR or To Be Rude. Those are like tbhs but purposefully brutal and those are also liked at the person’s own risk. People who like tbrs are usually looking for a fight anyway. And as for the rates if it bothers the person that bad they can delete the comment before anyone sees it. It’s not as black and white as you make it seem. How about you stop judging the “mean kids” or the “cool kids” before you know the whole story.

    • Thank you for commenting, Jon. You sound like one of the good ones who wouldn’t comment negatively. Unfortunately, as I’ve seen first hand, many do. My hope is that kids your age stop giving bullies that power. Stop asking people to approve or disapprove of you, your clothes – your anything. The only opinion that matters is your own. If you learn to like you then who cares if someone else doesn’t? I wrote this hoping that if anyone your age read it they may stop giving anyone the power to hurt them that way. I agree that most kids say nice things but why even open that door?
      Every one of you has value, you don’t need anyone else to give you that or try to take that away.

  4. Great read! Peer culture causes a child’s entire self worth to be wrapped up in what their friends and acquaintances thing. And for the most part other kids & teens are not to be trusted with such power to tear down another child. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers.

  5. I’m also 14 and I sadly see this all the time on Facebook. It drives me crazy because it’s all the same thing, but I think when a person post’s a “tbh” or a “rate”, it’s a reassurance for them. Who knows if that is the case, there could be more reason behind it. I see people at school who are stuck behind a wall of social media, I hope they realize it doesn’t matter what people think. In the end, they should be happy with themselves.

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