Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and the list goes on and on, yet all of these social media platforms have one thing in common: they are not reality. Images may be doctored, news articles can be altered, and false profiles can instantly recreate an individual’s identity.
Nonetheless, these platforms have an obvious grip on the attention of adolescents. According to statistics, 90% of adolescents have used social media, and 51% of teens use it regularly. Teenagers use social media to connect with friends, stay informed, and find amusement.
How do you ensure that your children are having a good experience if they are among the millions of teenagers who browse through their social media feeds daily? Continue reading to discover three strategies for guiding your children toward the positive aspects of social media while keeping them anchored in reality.
Maintain privacy of profiles
Many parents educate their children about “stranger danger” and the need to never interact with a stranger unless a parent is present. While this is true for individuals your children encounter in person, what about those they meet online? Do your children share your degree of vigilance when it comes to strangers on social media?
Log onto each social network with your children and demonstrate how to maintain a secret profile. This means that your children may continue to communicate online with their friends, but outsiders will be unable to access their personal information. Additionally, educate your children to never accept friend requests from strangers in real life. Predators often pose as youngsters to get access to them.
Think before you post
Social networking is eerily similar to the Wild West. Few regulations govern what happens on platforms, and few personnel enforce them. Teenagers are free to post nearly anything! This is an amazing opportunity, but it is also risky. The majority of teenagers are ignorant that anything they publish on the internet persists in perpetuity, even after they erase it. If they are immature, what they publish as young as 13 years old may come back to bother them as 18-year-old adults enrolling in college.
Teach your children to never publish anything on social media that they would not say in public. This includes everything harmful or cruel, regardless of how small it may seem. Additionally, they should never share pictures of themselves or any other individual in a nude condition. If they are unsure if a post complies with these standards, they should refrain from posting it.
Prioritize mental health
Numerous child health experts are concerned about the effect social media is having on young people’s mental health. According to a Pew Research Center study, almost a quarter of adolescents believe that social media has a detrimental effect on their lives. Teen females who post selfies, for example, have been linked to lower self-esteem, decreased life satisfaction, and feelings of insecurity. This tendency is so pervasive that medical experts have created the phrase “Snapchat dysmorphia.” It’s a term used to describe those who want to replicate their selfie filter appearance in real life.
Teenagers may experience anxiety, jealousy, or depression as a result of their use of social media. Teenagers often watch the number of likes or views a post receives and are dissatisfied when the number falls short of their expectations. Additionally, teens often compare themselves to their friends or celebrities on social media, unaware that what individuals post may not reflect their actual life. This may result in feelings of envy and despair.
Be aware of social media’s effects on mental health and keep an eye out for emotional changes in your teens. Teach your children to consider the emotional impact of social media. Inform them that it is OK to take a break if they are feeling unwell.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to make efforts to assist your teens in developing self-esteem outside of school. Encourage them to take up a new activity or sport. Compliment them often on their efforts and abilities. This kind of reinforcement will assist students in combating social media’s negative elements.