Studies show that kids today are growing up with more anxiety and less self-esteem, but why is this?
While there may not be one single root cause, over the last decade it is impossible to ignore the industry that has made leaps and bounds in the role it plays in the average person’s daily life: social media.
Now more than ever, younger generations are picking up new social and cognitive skills at a stunning pace, resulting in higher use of technology starting at a very early age. How much is this affecting growing minds? So much so that experts worry social media has become so integral to teenage life that it can cause an increase in anxiety, feelings of depression, poor body image, and loneliness.
What can parents do about this epidemic?
It’s easy to say that in order to minimize risks associated with social media, you should end all your kid’s consumption. However, what is more realistic and more attainable is to review your own first. Too often, parents are checking phones and emails out of habit. Kids need to be more familiar with seeing their parent’s faces, not just heads bent over a screen.
Establish technology-free zones or times throughout the day within your household, especially times when the family is together. Each member of the family should practice giving their full attention to the ones around them. It is vital to disconnect and interact face-to-face.
While there are some negatives, social media in itself is not a bad thing. As a parent, when speaking with your children about social media it is important to acknowledge the good aspects of it as well such as:
- It provides connection and communication
- It provides education
- It provides access to more information from people with diverse experiences
- It gives users a voice
- It provides encouragement and humor
Social media may not be going anywhere anytime soon, therefore as a parent, it is vital to encourage a healthy view of the industry. To learn more information about how to start these conversations with your children, sign up here for the Culture Translator Premium, a free e-newsletter that dives deep into the topics surrounding your children each day.