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Your teen may be playing this weird social media selfie game right now

Teens today spend an awful lot of time on their devices between iPods, iPhones, iPads, Netflix, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and whatever else is out there, but I’m the first to admit I’m not quite sure about everything they’re doing.

So I stalk them, of course I stalk them, and I stalk their friends too. And recently I came across some interesting stuff that may or may not be familiar to you all, and as a fellow parent, I feel it’s my duty to share. I like to call it a type of cyber-flirting or cyber-flattering and it goes something like this:


Any ideas?

Well, it means: Hit me up for a ‘to be honest.’

In a nutshell, this is what happens. Your teen (let’s assume it’s your teen because if you’ve got your 8- to 11-year-old on Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram, I’m going to just have a heart attack right here) will post a gratuitous selfie (redundant, right?) and then post “HMU4ATBH.”

This invites all his or her friends/followers to “like” the gratuitous selfie. Once the selfie is “liked” by all friends/followers, your teen will then go onto all his or her friends’ pages and post a “to be honest” on their latest photos.

Now, these ‘honest’ revelations can be just about anything, because I asked my kids. These bits of honesty can be as tame as:

To be honest, I wish we hung out more;

To be honest, I don’t see you that often, only at lunch;

To be honest, you have really pretty hair;

To be honest, you’re not that great at basketball (ouch!).

According to my 15-year-old daughter, they can get racy too, like:

To be honest, you’re really hot, you have a nice a$$, let’s date;

I asked my daughter what’s the point of participating in the To Be Honest game? She said it’s more of a self-esteem thing. You ask someone to hit you up — or rather, “like” your picture — that way the person is getting more “likes” and then someone is saying something nice back to that person. “It’s a win-win,” my daughter says.

I guess it seems pretty harmless as long as no one is saying anything rude or mean, which as far as I can tell, the “to be honests” are not cruel. However, if I was playing the To Be Honest game, you can bet I’d be really honest and some of my answers might be:

To be honest, honey, it’s time to get those roots dyed;

To be honest, you should have stopped at that second glass of wine Friday night because you were acting like an idiot;

To be honest, you need to stop making that duck face in your selfies because you look ridiculous and while we’re on the subject honey, you’re in your forties, why don’t you stop posting ridiculous selfies already. YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS!

OK, so maybe the To Be Honest game is best left for the teen set?

More on teen health

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Helping teens take responsibility for their health
How to fix your teen’s bad sleep habits

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