Social Media addiction and your teen’s mental health

Social media is a growing trend and a required skill in the 21st century. We live in a time when if a teen does not have an Instagram account, Twitter or Snapchat, they are automatically considered an outcast and looked down upon in one way or another. Because of the way these social media platforms have been designed, they are highly addictive. According to recent surveys it was understood that almost 90% of Facebook users felt that their day cannot start on a good note unless they check their public social profile. That trend is only growing among young people with other various platforms.

Parents tend to often overlook the very negative and diverse effects that these websites have on the mind and mental health of their children. Following are some of the many negative effects social media and its addiction has on people:

  1. When one person is posting everything they do on a daily basis on a public platform, it is easy for people to begin to form a comparison. People automatically begin to judge their lives with everyone else’s and often forget the difference between one’s actual life and their virtual life.
  2. Teens express that when their phones are taken away, they feel completely uneasy and anxious being unable to check their notifications on their social media platforms.
  3. When a lot of pictures are being turned into memes and humorous content, it is easy to make things that have a very serious connotation into something that is almost ridiculous. Further, pictures on social media can be made to look more glamorous and that comes with negative influences for young people.
  4. People get into a debate over perceptions and realities. If they do not get a lot of likes on a single picture they report feeling sadness, insecurity or loneliness. We are seeing this growing trend in our Digital World programs.
  5. It is true that social media has enabled connectivity and staying in touch with friends, but it has also made cyber bullying easy. People find it easier to mock and ridicule others from behind their screens. The number of suicides has dramatically increased ever since the use of social media has made it easier for people to hide, and still make people feel terrible about themselves, or worse, put out material or pictures to the world that were meant to be private.

These are the effects social media addiction has on people. It is important that technology is used in a balanced manner to ensure it does not influence one’s personality, feelings or actions in any negative way. Having open communication, talking with your children and being their number one resource is imperative to contributing to a healthy online social life.

Check out this video on how to stop the worst of social media: Link

Teen depression skyrockets and there is one common theme: Social Media

According to a recent national survey, between the years 2010-2015, the number of teens who felt useless and joyless surged 33%. Suicide attempts alone increased by 23%. These numbers are simply terrifying. After countless surveys, all of the results have one thing in common: a smartphone and the growth of social media. According to a recent poll, teens now spend much less time interacting with their friends in person. Interacting with people face to face is one of the deepest wellsprings of human happiness; without it, our moods start to suffer and depression often follows.” Our goal in the Digital World program is to promote healthy online behavior and personal relationships, as well as talk to kids about the “reality” of the Internet, and how social media affects us both socially and emotionally, now and in the future. Take a look at Kids in a Cyber World for some quick facts about how fast social media has grown, and the ways the cyber world, left unchecked can impact youth development.

If you would like more information on this presentation or other Digital World programs send an inquiry to gpsempowered@gmail.com.

New study says teens’ decisions to have sex are influenced by parents… Say Whhaaat???

There are a lot of factors that go into a teen deciding to becoming sexually active or not.
Everything from peer pressure to social media, to their religious backgrounds, but what may surprise a lot of parents is that they may have the strongest influence of all. Many parents may believe that their kids are “tuning” them out when they sit down to have the birds and the bees convo, but according to The National Campaign to Prevent Pregnancy (NCPTP) that is just not the case. In their recent study, nearly 40% of teens pointed towards their parents as the number one influence on their sexual behavior. Parents rank in the top 2 for more teens than that, and the younger the child, the stronger parental influence! So the short answer is, THEY ARE LISTENING.

The question of “WHEN” to have these discussions always arises, and the short answer is- it’s never a one-time talk. The ultimate goal is to create an environment where your kids feel comfortable coming to you to ask questions on any relationship, developmental, or personal topic from the moment they are old enough to understand.

Both parents need to be open and honest, and do their best to keep these lines of communication open, even though the most fearless parents often become tongue-tied with these challenging topics. One of the most important things TPP instructors have heard from kids is that if children feel as though they will be punished for their curiosity, or honest questions about sex and relationships, parents can kiss the opportunity to talk goodbye. Kids need to feel safe in talking to their parents about anything.

Learn more about societal influences in the Digital World section of our website and check out how TPP Programs navigate sensitive topics and questions.