Many of us build a business around social media and use the platforms to stay connected to our families and friends so it’s very disturbing to start realizing the that negative impact social that media is having in the lives of younger people.
In the age of what some are calling the “screenager” — with teens averaging more than 6.5 hours of screen time every day, according to nonprofit Common Sense Media — suicide prevention experts are wondering if enough is being done to protect young minds online. It’s unclear how much of a role social media plays in suicides, but a recent study tied social media use with increased anxiety in young adults.
Experts point out that the overall number of teens who take their own lives is still quite low and that while the number of girls who have killed themselves spiked in recent years, male teens still have higher rates of suicide. They also say smartphones alone aren’t singularly responsible for suicidal thoughts.
There are ways to combat smartphone overuse, like setting a digital curfew or making sure younger kids have enough to engage with when they arrive home from school and not just sit mindlessly with the phone or computer.
Here are a few ways you can help stop the social media addiction:
- Schedule time for social media usage so that it doesn’t become hours of mindless clicking.
- Download the social media apps to an iPad that stays home but don’t allow it on the phone the children take to school!
- Encourage your kids to get a hobby – it can also be a hobby for the family!
- Make it a treat – allow usage when tasks have been accomplished.
- Invite your kids friends over for movie nights or other activities – this will encourage more real face time communication.
Let us know if you have any more ideas – please leave us a comment.