Is your son or daughter becoming a Social Media misfit?
Norman Alessi MD Words: 348 Date: July 9, 2023
Recently I wrote a summary of the recent U.S Surgeon General advisory about the role social media might play in worsening the mental health of our youth. The take away is that for those youth using social media for more than 3 hours a day there is a striking increase in depression and anxiety.
There is an excess use of these technologies by our youth. 95% from 13-17 report using, with a third reporting use almost constantly. Even in children from 8-12 the use is 40%. The average use is 3.5 hours a day.
I want to go a few steps further beyond depression and anxiety.
If your kids spend a lot of time on line as a youth you might have connections. You might make “online friends”. Yet you do not learn the social skills necessary to meet people or have sustained relationships in the real world from being online only.
This becomes more readily apparent years from now. Like when you have to get a job after college. Or you want to date but are unable to have a sustained romantic relationship. Maybe your child especially males will still be at home for years unable to make it. A growing trend over the last 20 years. We are now thought to be a culture that lacks secure attachments. Social media might be a factor contributing to this unhealthy trend.
As a parent and caregiver you need to take steps to reduce the influence of social media.
Set media limits for your children! Yes they need to use to do their work. Beyond this reduce to as little as possible.
Push them to socialize. Make friends at school where they see people daily. Encourage them to bring home to meet you.
Go to church or other organizations on a regular basis.
Look at yourself and determine how much time you spend on line.
If these steps are not taken you might be assisting your child in becoming a social media misfit.