Real emotions or attention-seeking behaviour? Understanding what 'sadfishing' is & why people are doing it

IT News Desk
IT News Desk
Updated on Jun 11, 2024, 17:30 IST
Indiatimes

You've probably heard of catfishing, but have you come across sadfishing? It's the latest buzzword making waves, and while you might not be familiar with the term, I bet you know someone who does it.?Let's dive in.

What is sadfishing & why are teenagers doing it?

Sadfishing is when someone acts or pretends to be very sad or upset online to get attention, sympathy, or support from others.?

This behavior involves sharing exaggerated emotional posts to get sympathy and attention from followers.

Teen girl looking at her phone while sitting in bed Sadfishing/ X

Academic researchers are increasingly using the term "sadfishing" and linking it to anxiety, depression, attention-seeking, and a lack of social support.

Teenagers often sadfish as a way to get attention. It can be difficult to tell if a teen is just sharing too much online to get sympathetic responses or if they are really experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts.

How to differentiate between sadfishing and genuine emotions online?

Sadfishing/ Harvard University Sadfishing/ Harvard University

Sadfishing is a term created in 2019 by journalist Rebecca Reid. She came up with it after Kendall Jenner posted about her acne struggles, which turned out to be part of a marketing campaign. This highlighted how celebrities sometimes share personal issues to get attention for their benefit.

However, now, Reid is worried that calling out "sadfishing" might make people afraid to share their real feelings online.?

She shares in a post on X, "Um, I made up the term sadfishing and now I feel really guilty. It was certainly never intended to be used to stop being sharing their feelings online."

A study by BMC Psychology found that teenagers who feel sad and seek attention, especially when they feel they don't have enough support, are more likely to sadfish.

It's hard to know if a teen is oversharing to get sympathy or if they are truly depressed and need help.

However, if people become too skeptical of online expressions of distress, it might stop others from sharing their genuine struggles and leave them without the support they need.

For more news and current affairs from around the world, please visit Indiatimes News.

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