Parents, if you haven't heard of the documentary show "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix, I highly recommend you to check it out. The show addresses something that affects all of us today, including adults, teens and young kids. And that is none other than Social Media.
Social Media comes in different forms. They affect us and our kids in these THREE BIG WAYS:
Social media platforms have become one of the main cause of depression and anxiety in our society today, especially kids and teenagers. When we let our kids use social media, we are unknowingly putting their mental health in a vulnerable state.
We open these social media apps, and we see what people are wearing, where they are going, what they are buying, and what they are doing. Those perfectly edited photos and glamorous lifestyles have us question our own choices, lifestyles and appearances as we constantly compare ourselves with what we see on social media. And when we don't get enough likes and followers, we can't help but feel a pang of inadequacy and insecurities leading us to self-doubts and unhappiness.
One way to help curb these insecurities in our kids is to have them spend less time on social media and be more mindful on the time they spend on their phones. As parents, instead of nagging, we can give them the responsibility to decide how much time they choose to have on their phones. Discuss and come out with a mutual agreement together.
Social Interactions with People
While social media platforms have their pros, spending too much time on them can have detrimental effects on us in the long run. We always have our phones at the tip of our fingers, and do you know teens and adults spent an average of 8 hours a day on it? That's one-third of our day on screens. Minus off 8 hours of sleep (well some of you don't even have a good 8 hours of sleep a day!), we are left with another 8 hours for work/schools. Simply say, we no longer have time for self-care, family and friends.
Have you ever sat down on the dinner table and everyone is just staring at their phones? Social media has taken us away from human interactions because there're just so much to see and do with our phones. To the point, we no longer find face-to-face communication meaningful and engaging anymore.
This can be extremely harmful to kids growing up with technologies. We see families with young kids eating with their phones and tablets on the table. When we let kids glue their eyes on screens, not only are we taking away opportunities for them to learn to communicate with us, we are also lessening children's awareness towards people and things around them.
Why not put your phone down, and start talking to your kids? Ask about their day, listen to their stories and talk about interesting topics together. When you do that, children will put their phones down and start communicating too.
You plan to finish up this report today, and before you know it, you end up scrolling through Facebook and Instagram for hours. Sounds familiar? This happens to everyone, both kids and adults.
Social media platforms can be a huge distraction in our lives today. There are endless interesting news, photos, videos and stories that keep us engaged on screen for a long time. To the point, we lose our sleep. This can be very harmful to our physical and mental wellbeing.
Turn off notifications on these social media apps. Set limits at home for children that during homework time, phones are not allowed in the room. It helps you and your kids to focus on the task and not be easily distracted.