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Teens On Social Media Too Much? What Experts Want You to Know


By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Is your teen gazing their smartphone all day? There’s many issues mother and father can do to guard youngsters from the possibly damaging results of social media, specialists say.

Whereas there are optimistic points to social media, there’s proof it could pose dangers to teenagers’ mental health as a result of points corresponding to bullying, body image issues and different social pressures.

“The truth is that social media is a part of the world we stay in, and it is not going away,” mentioned Mari Radzik, a medical psychologist within the division of adolescent and younger grownup drugs at Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“We will not simply take away our youngsters’ telephones or computer systems. It is about determining how we will information them on utilizing and navigating these instruments,” Radzik mentioned in a hospital news release.

Some indicators of social media-related issues in teenagers embrace adjustments in temper, consuming and sleep habits, in addition to isolating of their room. In such circumstances, mother and father may wish to start a dialogue about their teen’s social media use through the use of “I” as a substitute of “you” statements, Radzik recommended.

As a substitute of claiming, “You are on Instagram approach an excessive amount of and that is dangerous for you,” strive, “I observed this and I am actually nervous. Can we discuss it?” In case your teen does not wish to discuss at that second, allow them to know you will be there after they really feel prepared.

“Berating will make a youngster shut down,” Radzik mentioned. “Or generally mother and father will dig by their kid’s social media accounts and that may really feel invasive. The method has to come back from a spot of caring and concern, reasonably than one thing punitive or accusatory.”

Mother and father ought to verify in often and take note of their teenagers’ media use, mentioned Sarah Voyer, lead social employee within the division of psychiatry at Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Mother and father might wish to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their pals, comply with sure celebrities or influencers, or are they in search of some form of recommendation or assist — and the way they really feel after they use it, Voyer mentioned.

Should you’re sure that social media is affecting your teen’s mental health, recommend they take a break and even delete their account.

“There are some youngsters who can break the cycle, and generally it takes the dad or mum to assist with that,” Radzik mentioned.

Earlier than a toddler begins to make use of social media, mother and father ought to set parameters, in accordance with Radzik.

“It may be problematic when kids are given common entry to cellphones at an early age,” she mentioned. “I perceive the necessity to use it at instances, particularly age-appropriate materials. However as mother and father we have to encourage a curiosity of the world round them and use creativity instruments reasonably than depend on social media on a regular basis.”

Extra data

For extra on kids and media, see the American Academy of Pediatrics.

SOURCE: Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles, information launch, Jan. 10, 2022

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