Although social media has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. Today many teens spend a lot of their time on social media sites, and unfortunately, this has led to an increase in social media anxiety and depression in teens.
Research shows that there is a link between social media and anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and other psychiatric disorders. Further studies show that these disorders are a result of social media addiction.
Another huge problem associated with social media is cyberbullying. Online bullying has become the worst kind of harassment and intimidation of another human being. We have seen cases where teens have taken their lives because of been bullied online. The cases are so many that now cyberbullies face heavy fines and even jail time if caught.
Although it is little, any parent can control how teens interact with each other online, and they can control how much time their teens spend online.
So here are four practical ways you can help your teen escape social media anxiety.
Educate your Teen About the Effects of Social Media
Talk to your teen about the dangers of social media addiction. Let your teen understand that while social media is entertaining, it’s also addictive, and it can cause social anxiety and other emotional and mental problems.
Ignite Teen Treatment has some useful information for both parents and teens on how to use social media responsibly, and they offer treatment plans if social anxiety is becoming a real problem in your teen’s life.
Limit Screen Time
Make sure that your teen understands that there is a limit as to how much time they can spend online. Teach them to do things like chores and homework before getting on their smartphones, tablets, or computers.
You need to instill discipline when it comes to screen time. But if your teen refuses to respect the rules you lay down regarding when and when not to be online, you can always disconnect the internet connection or take away their devices.
Encourage Physical Activity
Physical activity doesn’t necessarily need to involve going to the gym to exercise. Teens, much like many adults, are not fans of exercise. Instead, think of fun activities that you can do as a family that involves running, walking, or jumping.
You can decide that you’ll engage in an outdoor activity that you’ll all find enjoyable each week as a family. This can be hiking, camping, cycling, or nature walking. Involve your teen in choosing what physical activity you can all take part in so that they have the option of doing something physical that they enjoy.
Disallow Electronics During Mealtimes
Teens will be teens, and they will do whatever they want until you lay down the law and make them realize that they cannot just do what they want. Therefore, make sure that your teen understands that they cannot use their smartphone or tablet during mealtimes.
Make mealtimes, family-time where everyone gets to talk about their day. It’s a good way to learn what your teen likes and dislikes and what they are up to at school or out of school.