MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Gianna Ortiz looked for the perfect prom dress with her family. She says prom is an exciting time but it comes with a lot of pressure. “I feel like it does make it difficult to be a teen because everything is constantly being posted,” she said.
Gianna says when prom rolls so do the comments from cyber bullies. “They say mean things about like their bodies if they’re not like, perfect,” added Ortiz.
Experts say social media and the internet puts pressure on young people to make their prom picture perfect for sharing. “You want to make sure you have the right angles and everything like that, the correct pose or background,” Ortiz said.
“Some people might be feeling the pressure to maybe go above and beyond for making themselves look good by taking a lot of pictures,” said Scott Driscoll with Internet Safety Concepts. “And the pictures they are putting on social networking make it available for a lot more comments and a lot more interaction with people.”
Driscoll says with social media there is no escape from the bully. “If someone says something mean about me on social networking, when I get home I open up my social networking there could be more comments.”
Gianna’s mother, Sue Ortiz, monitors the comments on her kid’s social networking pages. “I feel it is important, trying to see what’s going on. Maybe there is stuff she is not telling me that’s going on,” she said.
Driscoll tells News 8 that it is important for parents to get involved with their kids. He said cyber bullies go after self-esteem. “It can build self-esteem if people make compliments, but we are not seeing a lot of compliments. We are seeing people being derogatory and mean. So that is why we have to be very careful with what we share online.”