In a society where technology and social media have become a consistent part of life, many parents worry about the long-term impacts it might have on their child’s cognitive development and behavior. According to a report from Common Sense Media, “Kids younger than 8 are reportedly spending an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes per day glued to screens. Roughly 30% of that time is spent on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.”
As for younger adults, 91% of 16- to 24-year-olds use the internet for social network. They spend an average of 1,200 hours per year on social media apps. This amount of time spent on social media apps has altered teens’ communication and socialization skills. Social media apps also give teens the ability to indirectly communicate cruelly and bully in ways they wouldn’t do face to face. They also create a false sense of reality, potentially causing huge impacts on both mental and emotional health.
Donna Wick, EdD, founder of Mind-to-Mind Parents, says that for teenagers, the combined weight of vulnerability, the need for validation, and a desire to compare themselves with peers forms what she describes as a “perfect storm of self-doubt.”
Follow are the top four negative impacts of social media may have on kids and teenagers.
1. Anxiety and Depression
Research suggests that young people who spend more than two hours a day on social media are more likely to report poor mental health, including psychological distress – unpleasant feelings or emotions that impact their level of functioning – often in the same context of strain or stress. Parents can help combat their teens’ depression by modeling positive emotional behavior, as well as providing appropriate support without discounting their emotional lives. Showing empathy and asking open-ended rather than pointed questions are great ways to demonstrate this.
2. Loss of Sleep
When teens and younger children don’t get enough sleep, they may have reduced cognitive function and lower academic performance. Give your children a set hour before bed when they have to “unplug.”
3. Body Image
An eating disorders clinic in Chicago reported that 30 to 50% of their teen patients used social media as to support and develop their eating disorders.
Michelle Marie King, a Colorado-based positivity activist and former model and pageant winner, has used her own struggles with body image to create Positive Presence, a model-coaching and life-coaching company. She encourages parents to “keep an open dialogue with your children, and when they experience the times of low confidence, remind them of their strengths to help them overcome negative self-talk.”
Being victimized online can cause lasting effects into adulthood, and has led to suicide. There may be a link between the rise in suicide rates in the United States and cyberbullying. According to data from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Suicide rates for teens rose between 2010 and 2015 after they had declined for nearly two decades.”
Michelle Marie King advised parents to get to know their children’s friends, especially the ones they look up to and want to be like. “Host movie nights and fun get-togethers with their friends and their friends’ parents to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding positive engagement in the group.”
by Stephen Glitzer, CHWC, Holistic Life Coach, Chef and Susan Golicic, PhD, CPIC, Holistic Life Coach at Uninhibited Wellness
Over the last couple of years, we’ve witnessed some really challenging social issues. The events relating to #metoo, #blacklivesmatter, government upheaval, LGBTQ injustices and others have opened a giant wound in our country, and it needs attention!
Our days of turning a blind eye have put us in this position. We now need boldness from those who have higher standards. We need to hear from those who have great ideas, and we need action from those who have the courage and power to shift the current cultural paradigm.
Where are these superhuman people who are capable of these great feats? They are reading this article at this exact moment! Yes, YOU! It may seem too great of a challenge to change this society’s culture, but you CAN make an impact. You can influence your family and friends, your circle, your community, and your local government, among many others.
It’s time to kick apathy in the teeth and create the equitable relationships we all crave. It’s time to take charge and lead with conviction. We need cultural evolution!
What are some things we can do? Here are 5 behaviors to help advance equity in our society.
Our wounds are deep. Like a bear with its foot caught in a trap, we’re angry, we yell, we snap and we bite at those around us. But the wounds can be healed. When leaders like you listen, speak up, take brave action, build community of diverse ideas and lift others up despite differences of opinion, we will create a movement of mindful people who want to build a culture where all people can thrive.
This article was originally published in Women of Denver magazine.
by Krystal Covington, MBA
Father's day is creeping up fast, so if you're behind on getting your dad that perfect gift here's a few ideas that will make his day.
A Portable Evaporative Cooler
A Feminist Coffee Mug
A Railroad Ride up a 14er
A Balloon Ride