Oh, social media. It has become both a joy and a bane in our existence. Checking our Facebook accounts is second nature and done an average of fourteen times every day (a conservative estimate for some of us).
Teens are even more socially connected. It is estimated that young people today spend as much as a third of their time consuming media every day. A fair amount of that is spend on social networks such as Instagram and Snapchat, the preferred social methods of communication among those under the age of 20. Since they carry their phones around with them at all hours of the day, this figure isn’t hard to believe.
Learning to Disconnect
Honestly, this trend isn’t likely to be as detrimental as some people fear. In addition to more media, teens also have more access to information and are quickly becoming far more worldly and informed than generations previously. They are also able to express themselves creatively, politically and in other interesting ways thanks to some of these platforms.
That doesn’t mean there is no need for concern. Disconnecting from social media and doing more in the real world is a way to remain grounded, socially healthy and catching opportunities that might be otherwise missed from behind a screen.
As parents, it is our job to help our children to do this. If they have been struggling with certain behavioral problems it may be even more crucial to help them do so. Here are some ways to help your teen cut back on social media and participate more in the Meatspace.
Live By Example
Let’s be honest, you are no angel when it comes to checking your social media. Try to live by example by pulling out your smartphone less often and spending less time on your accounts. Remember, there are other ways to communicate with people.
Take Them Out Into The World
Plan special outings and fun family trips to go and see things in the real world. Go to a museum or to an art gallery. Attend a concert or local show. Go to local festivals and events. Allow them to take some photos but otherwise distract them from their phones by pointing out what is happening around them.
Set No-Phone Times
There are certain times during the day where phones should be off. Mealtimes, such as breakfast and dinner, are good ones. So is after a certain point in the night before bed, which will have the added benefit of them getting better sleep.
Time For a Social Media Slim Down!
Your teen doesn’t have to spend all their time on social networks. But it is up to you to encourage them to put down their phones and engage on a real level.
Find out more at Sundance Canyon Academy.