Dr. Taylor shares on how technology has impacted the way families interact with each other. In the past two decades, and in combination with popular culture, there is a growing divide and a blurring of lines between the traditional roles that parents and children play. A study reports that the use of technology for social reasons, as opposed to educational reasons, hurt communication in the family. This is not only felt and expressed by the parents but by the teenagers as well. The children who spend considerable time on social media report feeling less supported by their parents. This is a problem not created by just the children, but by the parents as well.
This article investigates what actually takes place in a child's brain as it responds to social media. Studies show that certain regions of the brain, especially the reward center, become especially active when they received "likes" on social media. This impacts the frequency of use, peer influence, social learning, and even the functionality of the brain. With the reward center being extra sensitive in adolescents, this can explain why they "need" social media.
This article provides thoughts and advice on social media use from real teenagers. It discusses thoughts on self-esteem, popularity, edited versions of reality, a sense of self, definition of acceptable, and their views of problems of social media. It also touches on tips for parents so that they are able to set their children up for success when dealing with social media. Some of the advice is to encourage family digital downtime, keeping bedroom social-media free, and agreeing to rules of social media use.
This article explains the negative effects of social media on a teenager's overall wellbeing. It touches on depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, envy, and communication issues. The author shares guidelines for social media use that parents can put into place in their home.
What I love about this article is that it speaks to what parents need to do themselves to set an example for their children. Removing technology completely is not really an option for most parents, but starting to embrace technology as a learning opportunity is critical for parent's success. Displaying proper use of technology to their children and continuing to build bonds in order to educate and support them when things do get rough.