How to prevent your teen from social media addiction
Prevent your teen from social media addiction: There are positive and negative effect of everything in this world. Just like that social media also has good and bad effect on teenagers.
Use of everything in a balanced way is good but when teenagers spend a lot of time on social media, they can face bad effects of social media.
As we know excess of everything is bad that`s why parents should encourage their teenagers to use of social media in a balanced way.
But the question is while we know most of the effects, we are clueless on how to prevent your teen from social media addiction…
We have address just this… Read On…
Topics Covered in this blog
- Few facts about social media usage
- Why teenagers use social media
- How does one get hooked or addicted to social media?
- 10 common signs to Spot a social media addict
- Few benefits of social media
- Psychological effects of social media on teenagers
- What parents can do to prevent your teen from social media addiction
- TIPS – What worked for me
- An important Note to parents
Few facts about social media usage
- YouTube, Instagram, snap chat are the most popular online platform among teens.
- Facebook no longer commands the top spot among teens
- Teen coming from lower income household use Facebook more than teens from higher income.
- Most of the teens access social media from their smart phones.
- The % of teen in US who claim they check their phone constantly has almost doubled. In last 4 yrs.
There is researcher who believed that over stimulation of social networking cause many disorders in teenagers like ADHD, depression, stress, and anxiety.
According to a research 14-17 old teens who spend more than 7 hours on social media on daily basis are more likely to diagnosed with depression as compared to teens who spend less time on their phones.
Why teenagers use social media
To handle any issues, it is always wise to know the why? That will give us some insight to the root cause and solutioning can be better.
There are main reasons one use social media.
- To feel connected to people, friend’s family, and peer group. And share updated and information.
- To kill time because they are bored and have nothing else to do.
- In order to feel included and not feel lonely or isolated or left out. The fear of missing out.
- In order to feel appreciated and rewarded (by way of likes and emoji’s).
- To express oneself, their views, and opinions. To be heard.
How does one get hooked or addicted to social media?
Have you ever wondered how social media companies stay in business? How they make money.
The answer is the same as that of how do companies that make alcohol make money?
They need customers… and they need to ensure that they hook them up to stay as their customer. More the addicts … better for business…
And It all starts with a small bell ring…
- The constant notification. The tring, the signal. Evokes a response to check on it.
- These call for action testes your impulse control and ability to concentrate on a task.
- When you are not able to resist it. You start a journey of checking on your round the clock.
- You start becoming hyper connected.
- And slowly what started off as checking on phone when a notification comes in turns into checking phone wondering why no notification has come.
- You start to post and like to get more attention.
- You feel elated when it gets noticed and likes come in.
- This begins a cycle of psychological craving. Like any other craving be it chocolate or alcohol.
- You start seeking for more of it. The 1 like that you got initially no more satisfied you. You crave for 10 and then 100…and more.
- When this need is not met… Other mental issues start creeping in such as feeling inadequate, isolated, anxiety, depression, body image issue etc… And you get back to engage more to meet your needs…
The cycle continues… And we have in our hand one social media addict…
10 common signs to Spot a social media addict
The list below is few of the common signs that you can spot to figure out if your teenager is addicted to social media…
- If you feel your teen is happy spending more time connecting with friends online than offline.
- When schoolwork and grades take a hit.
- If you hear your teen constantly comparing with their online friends.
- When you find your teen’s, behavior has started changing they get more moody or irritable or even angry.
- When you see sings that your teen as a negative outlook to their body image.
- If you find your teen happy to pick the phone and sit in the couch rather than go out for a walk or a ride.
- When they start to fall back on their responsibilities, and chores they are assigned to.
- When they start having sleep problems and you spot them using or checking on their phone even at nights during sleep time.
- Be more competitive, malicious, or jealous of their peers in social media.
- When their risk-taking behavior is in the rise. So, they can get the needed WOW’s and Likes for their postings.
Bonus tip: The first sign I spotted with my second son that got me pull up my sock and intervene before it gets too late is his familiarity with the smartphone.
The speed in which he operated his smartphone. (With experience you tend to get better).
Few benefits of social media
Social media is quite infamous for the negative effects it has on society and young minds.
However, there are few benefits of social media that we should be aware of…
- Helps you stay connected with friends and family.
- Helps you form new connections.
- It helps you voice your views and opinions. Positively express yourself.
- It helps you fight for a cause, spread awareness. Reach larger audience.
- It gives you the emotional support when needed. (when you state your problems and get suggestions from others)
- Helps you get connected with groups with similar interest or issues.
- It helps you find information, learn and be aware of things.
Psychological effects of social media on teenagers
Both girls and boys can face psychological effects of social media. But studies show that teen girls are more likely to psychological disorders of social media then teen boys.
Excessive use of Social media is a cause of mood swings and rude behavior in teenage girls.
However, there are other some other psychological effects in teens like.
Excessive use of social media increased the depression among teens these days.
According to a survey in US, teens who spent more time on their phones are more likely to mental health issues and suicide.
The suicide rate especially increases in female teens from 2010 to 2015 due to social media causes.
For this reason, teens who spent their most of time on non-screen activities are healthier physically and mentally than teens on on-screen activities.
Know more about depression and suicide from our article’s How-to find out if your teenager is battling depression? and How-to find out suicidal tendency in your teen? respectively.
Cyber bullying effects on teens mental health
These days due to use of social media cyber bullying rate increase many times.
In cyberbullying teens face hate, threats, and bad compliments on social media. This usually happen with teens who put their personal things and activities on social media platforms.
And as a result, they can face cyberbullying from cyberbullies.
As this bullying is visible to many people so teens with cyberbullying are more likely to diagnosed with depressive effects and other mental health issue.
Cyberbullying can affect teens mental health badly. They can face loneliness, depression, stress, anxiety and in extreme cases suicidal thoughts.
Increased social comparisons
According to the most recent Pew research, 43% of teens say they feel stress and pressure to post content on social media profiles.
And 26% percent teens say that social media sites make them feel worse about their lives.
As the research shows that social media leads teens to constant comparisons. They compare their life with others.
They do comparison with their friend and other people on social media and with their lives.
As a result, these comparison leads teenagers to low self-esteem and low self-confidence. The comparisons especially most common in female teens.
Read more about stress and mental health from our articles How-To HELP & EASE stress in your teenager and How to influence your teenager’s mental well-being, respectively.
Lack of sleep
Teens stayed up till late night on social media and as result you can see disturbed pattern of sleeping in teenagers.
They don`t take sleep in balance way. Moreover, blue light of mobiles arouses neurons that that disrupt the process of normal production of melatonin which is a sleep hormone.
As a result, lack of sleep lead teens to laziness, physical health issues and moody behavior.
Lack of proper sleep causes tiredness during waking hours that makes your teen moody and cranky.
Read our article How-To Help & Deal with a teenager mood swings to know more about this.
Lack of physical activities
Teens who spend most of their time on social media usually avoid physical activities.
They love to always on their beds and sofas. They don`t take participate in physical activities like exercise etc.
Physical activity has numerous benefits along with it boosts self confidence and makes your teen smart.
You can read more about these topics in our article’s How to develop self-confidence in your teenager and smart.
I want to share report of a survey with parents here.
According to survey of Common-sense media
- 35% teens on social media are worried about being tagged on unattractive photos.
- 27% teens stressed about the picture looks they post on social media
- 22% feel bad about their physical appearance when there are no likes on their photos.
From the above numbers It`s obvious how social media is affecting our teens self-confidence and self-image.
Due to social media comparisons teens also want to build a perfect body image by following others.
When they fail to reach that level, they feel bad about their personalities and lead to low self-esteem and low sense of self.
When your teen is in the right circle of friends a lot of these issues can be handled better. As parents it will be good for you to read our article. How-to help your teen to choose right friends
Indirect communication on social media sites
During online communications as teens can`t use their facial expressions and body language to convey messages.
This factor also leads to non-communication skills as too much online communications put nonverbal disabled context in teens.
As a result, in real life they usually avoid conversations with real peoples they have around.
Social media and teenagers’ romantic relationships
These days social media give easy access to every person on social media.
Due to easy access teens make relationships in very early age. Relationship are part of life of every person but relationship in very early age can affect teens education and emotions and over all wellbeing in a bad way.
At that age they usually don`t know about others and as a result they face difficulty in managing relations. Bad relations can affect their mental health also.
Since you are handling a teen it will be good for you to read our complete guide and exhaustive article How-to Talk to your Teen about Dating and Relationship.
Effect of social media on education of teens
No doubt teens can take help from internet in their studies, but too much time on other sites like Instagram, Facebook, Tik tok and other sites can affect teens studies.
When teen spend too much time on social media platforms they left with a little time for studies.
Moreover, due to so much interest in social media teens become unable to focus and concentrate on studies.
Does this not sound scary? It sure does to me that is why you should continue to read on to know how to prevent your teen from social media addiction
What parents can do to prevent your teen from social media addiction?
No doubt, as a parent we put so much effort and struggle for our teen’s personalities, their security, safety, and overall wellbeing.
For this reason, we can`t allow our teens mobile phones to erase our struggle and destroy our teens personality.
That`s why we must do things that can save and prevent your teen from social media addiction.
For this we can do following things.
Watch the time they spend with their mobile phones
Its` a good idea for parents to observe the time hours of teens with their mobiles. You can also make rule of maximum hours that a member can spend on phone.
For example, you can simply say no phone after 9 PM or no phone during family meetings or at family meals.
Engaged them with more physical activities
If your teen has interest in any game or activity, then it`s easy to engage them with that game or activity.
Try to provide sport accessories to teens and encourage them to spend their free time with gaming and physical activities like exercise or gym.
This is a very healthy way to prevent your teen from social media addiction.
Build healthy self esteem
The most important thing to do as a parent is to build a healthy self-esteem in kids.
Because teens with healthy self-esteem love their personalities and avoid comparisons with others.
Do things that give them confidence and strong sense of self.
Build an open relationship with your teen
When you share a good relationship with your teen you can easily know about things and problems in your teen life.
Additionally, when teens are free to talk to their parents, they can discuss any issue with their parents like cyberbullying and stalking etc. on social media.
When you know about problem you can help your teen and prevent your teen from social media addiction.
Tell them difference between social media life and real life
Tell them there is difference between social media life and real life. Show them what fascinating things and real things look like.
Also Guide them about social media friends and real friends. This is very important to prevent your teen from social media addiction.
Tell them the side effects of social media comparisons. Tell them the ways or how they can make their life joyful and happy without high standards and without big amount of money also.
Get to know about your child daily routine
The most effective way you can use is step in your teen world and daily routine. Try to know about their friends on social media or about their relationships.
In that way you can be prepared to spot issues early and prevent your teen from social media addiction.
Tell them side effects of social media
It`s also very important to guide teens about bad effects of social media and how they can avoid these bad effects in advance.
Only few percentages of teen understand that social media can get addictive and can be a bad influence for them.
Acknowledge the good effects of social media also. This will make them more receptive to the bad effects when you highlight them.
Tips – What worked for me
We had few house rules and I have listed the tips that we followed. Hope this helps to prevent your teen from social media addiction.
We believed it worked for us since we see our teens have a good balance between online and offline work.
My elder one came off all social media platform for good (lost interest). He concentrates on cricket and outdoor games.
My second one is least bothered about the number of followers he has. Logs in once a week just to check. Prefers growing his poultry farm and his vegetables and talking to all of us.
- General House rule: No technology during dinner time.
- House Rule: No technology during prayer time.
- Technology free weekend (either Saturday or Sunday 9 AM to 7 PM) once a month.
- Some outing we call out as technology free outings/ family time. We do this twice a month. We have also tried one technology free vacation.
- Have a press button phone for emergency usage or people to reach you. (number only to the important few).
- Wi-Fi blackout after 10.30 PM to 7 AM (it can be 8 P, but my hubby is the culprit).
- Teenagers were given only pre-paid connection. Bill from their allowance.
- Cell phone basket where all in family place cell phone before going to sleep. Its in the living room.
- Common desktop in living room area connected to LAN cable for schoolwork and assignments after 10.30 PM.
- And I personally go around with no smartphone for more than a year now). Helps me in my life balance.
You can read more about other parenting challenges I have faced, and practical and simple solutions based on my experiences from my other teenagers related article. Browse thought -> Parenting challenges faced while raising teenagers.
An important Note to parents
Here I want to tell an important note for parents. As a parent whenever I face issues regarding to social media.
I initially tired and to took off my teens mobile and never give them back again.
But then I realized it`s not going to help me at all. Or sustainable and it was causing a lot of frictions… And was not really helping to prevent your teen from social media addiction
You can`t restrict your teens to go online. These days there are so many things related to their studies are on their phones and computers. Moreover, there also many good effects of social media also.
But the thing as a parent we can do is to provide proper guidance to our teens about effective use of social media.
Tell them all the good and bad effects of their phones and observe the time of your teens spend with phone.
And give them roots of responsibilities and wings of freedom.
VIDEO TIME : Our Pick for you to get an expert view….
At the end I just want to conclude things by saying that excess of everything is bad.
To prevent your teen from social media addiction. It is important that we also follow the same wat we expect our teens to do.
It is a bit of a sacrifice and inconvenience. No doubts about it.
But then it is only for few short years and the benefits of it will be reaped many times over. And you will have one happy well connected and bonded family.
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Let us know some tactic you have use to prevent your teen from social media addiction. Leave your comments below…