Teenagers on social media an excessive amount of? What consultants need you to know

Negative effects of social media on teenagers

By Robert Preidt
Well being Day Reporter

THURSDAY, January 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Does your teen stare at their smartphone all day? There are lots of issues mother and father can do to guard kids against the possibly unfavorable results of social media, consultants say.

Whereas social media has optimistic facets, there may be proof that it could possibly pose dangers to teenage psychological well being because of points akin to bullying, physique picture issues, and different social pressures.

“The truth is that social media is a part of the world we stay in and it isn’t going away,” mentioned Mari Radzik, a scientific psychologist within the Division of Adolescent and Younger Grownup Drugs at Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“We will not simply take away our youngsters’ telephones or computer systems. It is about determining how we will inform them in utilizing and navigating these instruments,” Radzik mentioned in a hospital press launch.

Some indicators of social media issues in youngsters embrace temper swings, consuming and sleeping habits, and the isolation of their room. In such instances, mother and father may wish to begin a dialogue about their teen’s use of social media through the use of “I” moderately than “you” statements, Radzik instructed.

As a substitute of claiming, “You are on Instagram approach an excessive amount of and it is unhealthy for you,” strive, “I’ve seen this and I am actually frightened. Can we speak about it?” In case your teen would not wish to speak properly now, allow them to know you may be there after they really feel prepared.

“Brawling will silence a teen,” Radzik mentioned. “Or typically mother and father scour their youngsters’ social media accounts and it could possibly really feel intrusive. The strategy wants to come back from a spot of caring and concern and never from one thing punitive or accusatory.”

Dad and mom ought to verify frequently and be aware of their teenagers’ media use, mentioned Sarah Voyer, senior social employee within the Division of Psychiatry at Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dad and mom could wish to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their pals, comply with particular celebrities or influencers, or search recommendations or assist — and the way it makes them really feel, Voyer mentioned.

If you’re sure that social media is affecting your teen’s psychological well-being, counsel that they take a break and even delete their account.

“There are some kids who can break the cycle, and typically the mother and father have to assist with that,” Radzik mentioned.

Earlier than a baby begins utilizing social media, mother and father ought to set parameters, in line with Radzik.

“It may be problematic when kids are given common entry to cell telephones from a younger age,” she mentioned. “I perceive the necessity to use it typically, particularly age-appropriate materials. However as mother and father, we have to encourage curiosity in regards to the world round them and use creativity instruments as a substitute of counting on social media on a regular basis.”

Extra data

For extra data on kids and media, go to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

SOURCE: Kids’ Hospital Los Angeles, press launch, January 10, 2022

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