Teens’ social media addiction has become a rampant issue for parents of teenagers to deal with, ever since this 21st century. The content on the social media these days makes many believe that this innovation will completely fill out for the physical meetings and bonds that existed in the early 70’s and 80’s when visiting neighbors and family members were of topmost priority. Little did they know that this supposed unifying technology will soon pull all attention to itself rather than conveying and unifying many people from different locations.
During my recent visit to a friend’s place, I overheard her 15-year-old daughter crying about how she was beginning to feel sick since her monthly data subscription had been out for a week, this propelled me to reflect on how strong the grip of social media has become in the lives of most teenagers today. The desire to keep up with the latest trends on Instagram, Houseparty, twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Whatsapp and other social networking applications have turned many young teenagers into social media addicts. The recent rampant complaints from parents of teen girls who have observed that their teenagers become moody and act grumpy whenever they are compelled to spend some physical time alone with their families, have been quite alarming, and this is because they feel it robs them of their social media time.
Gone a’ the days when boredom sets in only during summer holidays or when a ‘no television sanction’ has been placed on teenagers, because now the attention of most teenagers have shifted from the television to their smart phones, of which no other thing keeps them busy with their phones for 24hours except any of the social media platforms. The fact that most teens have become so attached to the social media Teenagers have simultaneously given room to a rise of smartphone addiction and this is the new epidemic parents of teens have to combat with in this techie age.
It is not a surprise that in recent times, most mothers of teenagers have been on the lookout for solutions to the social media addition issues suffered by their teenage children. Notwithstanding, some carefree parents are still unable to clearly point out signs that say their teen is addicted to the social media. A mum who has repeatedly observed that the very first thing her teen reaches out for every single day is her phone, should suspect her teenager may be struggling with social media addiction, especially if the reason they check their phone is to check out various social media platforms. Also, teenagers who check their social media page frequently and recurrently throughout a day are very likely to be experiencing this addiction too.
Parents of teenagers should be mindful of when their teenagers become unable to enjoy the happenings in their lives without sharing it all over on social media. If your teen seems unable to enjoy meals and times spent with friends and family without “sharing it” on various social media platforms, they may be struggling with social media addiction. Normal users of social media are able to enjoy their daily life activities without flooding it all over on social media. Ignoring a teen who consistently displays obvious signs of social media addiction, is not the best option since it has been proven that the effects of social media addiction can ultimately affect other aspects of the teenager’s life and future.
Social media addiction amongst teenagers is a challenge that can be conquered but this cannot be done alone, parents must walk hand in hand with their teenagers to proffer solution to this challenge which seems to be eating deep into the teenage population. Don’t let the real world leave your 16-year-old daughter behind, just because she lives on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp or snapshat all day long.
Here are 5 Smart Ways to Get Her Out of Social Media Addiction:
- Make Her See How Interesting The “Offline World is” – One of the very obvious reasons why your teenage daughter has suddenly drifted into a social media addict is because she perceives the real world or rather the offline world and its daily activities as being boring and full of just routines. You could help your growing teenager see how interesting the offline world is by organizing frequent visits to some of those interesting and beautiful Vacation sites she sees either on the television or other social media platforms.
- Get Concerned about Her Personal Problems: Teenagers who are addicted to social media definitely see the various social media platforms as mediums to solve their problems. They could be sharing their issues with a friend on whatsapp or having social media influenced role models who they look up too for the solution to the countless confusions they encounter daily. In order to help your teenager, overcome pressing social media additions, you must get more involved in her life by becoming highly concerned about her personal problems.
- You could also Limit their Screen Time: A set of ground rules will always remain a necessity when attempting to instill discipline in young children and teenagers as well. Assisting your teenage daughter to overcome social media addiction, it will be great to create a good structure that work on limiting their screen time and monitoring their phone usage especially if that teen still has you in control of her privileges. In an attempt to limit their screen time, you could make use of applications like ‘ourpact’. This app allows parents to control the screen time of certain apps and shutdown apps during certain hours such as bedtime, school and study time.
- Introduce a Skill as a New Hubby: Most teenagers perceive the presence of no subscription as the beginning of boredom, some even describe the absence of a smart phone as the height of boredom and loneliness. Therefore, in order to avoid boredom, they get addicted and unnecessarily attached to social media. This then implies that another activity has to be introduce to pull them out of the social media obsession they are faced with. At this point, it is needful to encourage your teenager to pick up a new hobby. This new hobby can keep their minds and hands preoccupied as well as totally diminish the longing to keep up with social media trends. To achieve this, you can decide to introduce music related or sports related hobbies.
- Make Your Teenager’s Access to Social Media a Treat: Allowing your teenage daughter an access to her social media handle only whenever achieves something or have done something productive will change the way she views the social media. By doing this, your teenager can be inspired to see the social media as a motivation to succeed rather than an avenue for just fun or an instrument used to pass the time.
It is still an obvious fact that most parents ignore the symptoms of social media addiction displayed by their teenagers, failing to realize that Teens’ relationship to social media addiction has become a big topic today. Parents who are willing to raise children who aware of their environment might not necessarily be parents who control everything about the way their teens interact with social media, but they certainly assist their teenagers with creating a positive sense of self that doesn’t require validation from an online world.