Teens, Tech And Addictions:
The research is clear on this issue. Being available 24/7 for our devices and technology is hurting our mental and physical health. Offline, when we want to get some work done in the real world, our FOMO (fear of missing out) is leading to stress and emotional exhaustion.
80% Of all teens are on some social media platform. (Howard, 2018) Approx. 50% of kids in the US have a social media account by age 12. (Knorr, 2018) Teens who spend excessive amounts browsing reels and stories of their peers are suffering bullying, body image issues and other traumatic experiences.
Teens who post want to post perfect images and at a time of the day when they’re most likely to get the most number of likes. Some pictures gather as many as 400 likes within a few hours of posting. Who are these teens who are claiming to have 100’s of friends online?
Eight graders who spend 6 hours a week or more on social media are 47% more likely to say they are unhappy. (Twenge, 2017)
Snapchat brags on its website that its daily active users open the app on average 25 times a day.
Here To Stay:
What’s clear over the past 15 years is that social media, the internet and our increasing dependency on technology is here to stay. So, its upto us to figure out how we are going to stay relevant, productive and responsible around technology.
The mental health profession’s guide to psychological disorders is the DSM – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and it hasn’t officially ruled the addiction of internet as a diagnosable disease. But along with China, many other countries have started recognizing video game addiction as “Internet Gaming Disorder”.
There are 4 major repercussions of over use of technology.
1. Increase in anxiety.
2. Decrease in our ability to attend and focus for extended periods of time.
4. New found ability to be unable to talk to anyone face to face.
~ Dr. Larry Rosen, The Distracted mind: Ancient brains in a high-tech world.
Even if it feels like kids, teens and adults are acting as addicts in front of their devices, there is hope. And it starts with recognizing that we, as adults, have a choice when it comes to using our precious time and resources. And that it is not the complete lack of self-control on our children’s part that they are tethered to their devices.
If you’re a parent of a teen, find out more on the Rules of Engagement With Social Media for Teens.
Social Media And Its Collateral Damage On Teens
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