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Social Media Discussion Points for Parents

Just the Facts:
  • Social Media is not all bad or all good, how the kids use it is what matters.
  • Their decisions on usage have consequences, some serious sexting/legal.
  • Social media contributes to loneliness, loneliest generation on record.
  • Kids are losing the ability to develop and the know how to meaningfully connect with others.
  • How kids use social media elevates feelings of anxiety and depression, not simply because they use it but it’s what they are using it for and or exposed to.
    • Boys: Gaming, and not such a need to be seen/have a presence known.
    • Girls:  visual platforms, videos, and pictures.
  • Teens seek affirmation on social media, as when parents were themselves kids; however, the affirmation is given very quickly now.
  • Social Media usage is a privilege and not a right, must make sure kids are training and educated on the online world and have clear expectations of their usage and subsequent responsibilities.
  • The more things change the more they stay the same, just a different platform.
  • The Internet seems to have created a new way of doing old things, rather than being a technology that changes the manner in which people live their lives.
    • Relationships, socialization, popularity, flirting, etc.      
  • What kids are posting may not be really what they are feeling.
    • True feelings and or emotions may be hiding in plain sight.
  • When we know better, we do better.
  • Offline stress/issues carry over to the online world.
  • 70% of communication is not around actual words, body language.
  • Trend continues to move to visual effects over texting.   

Parent Involvement

  • Develop a plan around social media regulation with your kids.
    • I.e., setting time limits, putting it down at dinner table, time before bed.
  • Parents need to work with the kids on developing a healthy balanced view of what social media is and what can happen relatable to the real world.
  • Parents need to use their own examples of how social media has made them feel left out of things and that that’s OK, how they coped with that. Talk about not being included.
  • Parents need to model social media usage and behavior to be consistent with expectations of kids.
  • Parent need to talk to their kids about those other kids who may be left out and to teach kids to be thoughtful of those who may be left use.