How to help your teen with social media addiction?

Social media

Social Media is more of a connection tool for teens. It has allowed teens to communicate with multiple people. Teens have revealed that texting has helped them overcome shyness. Many teens in relationships use social media to feel more connected. It helps them feel emotionally closer to their friends and partners. But it has a positive and negative impact on relationships.

In this blog, we have listed some of the dangers of social media, its impact on teens and their social relationships. Keep reading as our experts have shared amazing tips on dealing with these issues.

What are the dangers of social media?

Social media comes with risks for teenagers. Some of the most common risks are:

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– Spending too much time online and being disconnected from the real world

– Being the victim of an online scam

– Having reduced self-esteem (for some teenagers)

– Having personal information shared online

– Damaging your online reputation

– Being harassed or annoyed by someone you do not want attention from

"Things to try"

Just like in the offline world, there are things you can do to protect your children from these risks. Check out our ‘things to try’ for tips and ideas on minimizing the risk of using social media.

It’s important to prepare them for how to respond if these things do occur. Help your teenager to develop positive habits like taking regular breaks from checking social media. Make sure notifications are turned off so that their mobile device isn’t distracting can help reduce the compulsion to check in with social media so often. Protect your child from risks.

What can help reduce the compulsion of checking social media?

You should monitor your child’s time online. Teach your child how to protect themselves from the risks of social media use. Protect your child by using common sense and understanding what is going on in their life.

Social and psychological threats of social media

There is notable concern among parents about how social media affects their children psychologically and socially. The research found that some adolescents primarily use digital technologies to develop close relationships or seek status/popularity or entertainment. Social media can be a social and psychological threat. In the following sections, we have discussed some of the major threats.

Wasting time

Social media can be beneficial in moderation and can be detrimental if used excessively. According to studies, 44% of teenagers spend more than 3 hours a day on social media. Help your teen follow these tips:

  • Limit your time on social media.

  • Spend less time using the services

  • 30 minutes per day on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat

Following the above tips can help increase positive emotions, less depression, lower levels of loneliness, better self-image.

If your teen cut their social media use in half, what could they accomplish?

Social Media can be beneficial, but when used in moderation it positively impacts teen lives. A student who limited their social media use to 10 minutes a day had a better self-image and reported less depression and loneliness. Teens have accomplished “higher levels of happiness” and their self-image has improved to a greater extent.

Could they be developing a hobby, interest, or passion that would contribute to their overall life satisfaction?

Social Media affects your overall life satisfaction. It is critical that teens have time for themselves without being distracted by social media. Spending less time on social media will allow teens to focus more on their dreams and interests.

30 minutes a day for all social media is the best way to go. Students who restricted their use of social media can certainly develop a hobby, interest, or passion that would contribute to their overall life satisfaction.

Lack of sleep

Sleep cycles are changed due to social media use, which may lead to depression. It has negatively impacted adolescents. Lack of sleep changes adolescents’ mental health.

Depression is often caused by sleep deprivation, which can be created by social media use. The shift in sleep patterns due to social media use may lead to depression. Therefore, it’s important to take breaks from social media and other screens in order to get a good night’s sleep.

Alcohol Use

Alcohol is a depressant drug that affects the way the brain works. The use of alcohol is also associated with many types of health problems, including cirrhosis and cancer. Binge drinking showed a significant decline among teenagers. Brain development can be seriously impacted by underage drinking.

Young people are vulnerable to addiction. Talking to teens about the dangers of underage drinking or saying you don’t approve can make a big difference in whether your teen decides to drink.

Drug Use

Drug use is the act of using any drug, including both legal and illegal drugs. Marijuana use by teens has increased through social media. The use of drugs exceeds cigarette use among teens now. Many teens underestimate how easy it is to develop an addiction and the risks associated with overdosing.

Talk to your teen about the dangers of drugs. Look for the warning signs. Make sure you’re also talking about prescription drugs, too. Safety is important.

Obesity

Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat that affects the way a person’s organs are affected. It can lead to various complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Obese teens often struggle with body image issues or develop eating disorders as an unhealthy way of changing their appearance. Social media tends to make these issues worse by flashing trend-setting body images. Parents are not always aware of the issues that obesity can cause for their children.

Find ways to support and empower your teen if they need help in order to maintain a healthy weight

Academic Problems

It’s not just the troubled teens that are dropping out of school. Teenagers go through a lot of stress and struggle. Anger, confusion, jealousy, non-compliant attitudes, etc., may lead to unwanted stress. Excessive use of social media increases these problems. It takes away the teen’s focus on academics.

Parents should make their teens conscious of the dangers of social media. You can help teens by being supportive and understanding of their struggles. Talk with the teens about cyber safety.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is something that always affects our level of thinking and activities. Teens always care about what their friends think and talk about them. Peer pressure can cause teenage relationship problems. Talk to teens about what to do if they make a mistake. Demonstrate that you can listen without judging or overreacting. Instead find healthy ways for them to make amends and move on.

On-Screen Violence

Violence in the media is a big problem. Studies have shown that there are many ways violence in media can result in aggressive behaviour. Teens need to learn how to think about what is good and bad about the media. Help your teen learn how to think objectively about what you see online, in movies, etc.

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Bullying

Bullying is a form of mental, emotional, or physical violence or abuse. Cyberbullying has replaced bullying as the common type of harassment that teens experience. Social media use has increased and made it easier to bully others, especially teens.

It’s important to talk to your child about when and how to get help from an adult. Remind them that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but instead a show of courage. Discuss what your teen can do when they witness bullying. Talk about options if they become a target themselves or if someone they know becomes a target of bullying.

Depression

Depression is a mental illness that can make people feel sad, anxious or empty. The symptoms of depression vary by person and can include low energy, poor appetite, sleep problems or thoughts of suicide.

Some researchers blame technology for the rise in mental health problems. Spending too much time on electronic devices may be preventing young people from in-person activities. New conditions like “fear of missing out” or FOMO leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Do not delay getting help for your teen if you notice these symptoms. Depression is treatable. But it’s important to seek professional help if your teen seems withdrawn, experiences a change in his sleep patterns, or starts to perform badly in school.

What are the top relationship problems teens are having in the age of social media?

Social Media helps develop relationships because it is not always possible to see somebody all the time or talk with them all the time. It offers a place to show how much you care about your significant other. It helps build a relationship by seeing someone in person, even though you cannot always be with them.

Boys and girls differ in their interests and personal problems

Teens feel that social media has a modest impact on their relationships. They view social media as a place where they can feel more connected with the daily contours of their significant other’s life. Social Media makes teens feel more connected with what is going on in their significant other’s lives.

On the other hand, some students might have feelings of jealousy or uncertainty about the stability of their relationship. 15% say it makes them feel “a lot” more connected, while 35% say it doesn’t make them feel more connected. Roughly two-thirds of teens are not jealous or unsure of their relationships due to social media.

Girls are more likely to agree that social media makes them feel more connected with their significant others life. Boys are more likely to say it makes them feel more emotionally connected. However, teens need to understand that social media may be a way to develop a relationship but not an outlet for emotional closeness.

How does social media affect romantic relationships?

Social media is a way to curate your online presence. It is a way to show off your life and who you are. It changes the way people act. Teens tend to experience each of these behaviours to a lesser extent in the context of their romantic relationships than they do in their broader friend networks.

75% of teens say that social media is less authentic and real than in real life. A substantial minority feel that their partner acts differently – in positive or negative ways — on social media than he or she does in real life. Teen social media users agree that social media allows people to show a side of themselves they can’t show offline.

Social media presents a different side of a person’s personality, but can sometimes appear inauthentic or phoney. Therefore, social media is not good for romantic relationships.

How to help your teen with social media addiction?

Social media can leave teens feeling empty. Teens should not use social media as a way to cope with their problems. Effective coping mechanisms should help teens overcome their problems, not provide escapism.

Help your teen in the short-term by following up and encouraging them to seek out help the next time they feel that they’re slipping or struggling with certain emotional problems.

They need to find healthy outlets for stress. Manage a teen’s screen time and encourage them to do so on their own. Encourage teens to focus on the real world. Ask them to try hobbies that will help improve themselves mentally or physically. Help them indulge in meditation and spiritual activities.

Healthy social media habits for teens

  • Find a safe space for checking in the social media platforms

  • Set limits on your screen time or social apps

  • Respect others’ boundaries

  • Create your own boundaries

  • Use one-on-one time with a counsellor, parent, or friend

  • Talk openly about self-awareness and emotions

  • Discuss strategies for responding or not responding before reacting at the moment

Teens are more likely to make better decisions when they plan their actions before posting online.

Tips for Teens

  • Be mindful of traumatic content

  • Healthy use of screen time is something you do to fill in gaps in activities that are priorities

  • Consider what your priorities are and consider whether phones and social media take away from those priorities

  • Social isolation creates a health risk

  • Avoid posting every moment of your life online, and observe phone-free breaks such as family meals, group activities or quality time

  • Ask yourself: “Is it taking me away from what I really want to do?”

Re-imagining how to spend time during social isolation can be a pivotal opportunity to create a healthier lifestyle and lead to better mental health outcomes.

At Salubrify

 We have a team of experienced health counsellors, doctors, and resources to guide you with all your queries on teenage mental health and the impact of social media in their lives.

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