We’ve covered a lot of ground with how social media impacts your kid. We’ve even talked about the positive side of social media as most people (us included) tend to focus on the dangers of the digital world. Some of those negatives are obvious: insecure apps, cyberbullying, and online predators.
However, what about the lesser-known negatives that might not pop up right off the bat? It’s crucial to caution your children against these not-so-obvious perils. Here are some of them.
1 It sets the stage for addiction. When your eyes find an interesting video, it’s hard to put your screen down. It’s harder for your kids, and when likes and shares are involved, it can become even more addictive. Their brains are still wired for reward-centric behavior. They feed off the attention and it keeps them glued to the screen, which means they’re spending less time on the things they should.
2 It delays social and emotional development. According to a study from Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, teens that spend more than 3 hours a day using social media are more likely to succumb to mental health issues, such as depression. The reason? When we become too immersed in the virtual world, we forget how to act in the real world. Time spent on social media is time kids should be interacting with others face-to-face, in real relationships. The lack of that will make their days as adults harder in the work world.
3 It makes them green with envy. And it happens to you too. You probably scroll through your own newsfeed and frown at that one friend who always seems to be chilling at a beach, the people that are always dressed “perfectly” and have the “perfect” body. Well, guess what? Your kids see that from their friends too, and from the influencers they follow, who make them covet pricey brands they don’t need. Ultimately, this makes us all unhappy and dissatisfied with our lives.
4 They don’t learn how to read body language. When we were kids, we called our friends on the phone or rode our bicycles to their homes. Our kids don’t have this kind of life. Few use their phones to make phone calls; instead, they text and chat on an instant messenger. Without spending physical time with friends, they don’t learn those subtle cues of body language and facial gestures- something that will hinder them as adults.
5 They focus too much on creating picture-perfect moments. Our first reaction is to take photos. When the food comes to our table at a restaurant, we pull out those cameras, ready to get the perfect angle, when we really should just be enjoying and living in the moment. Our kids are too busy perfecting those photo ops, taking endless selfies to get the perfect one and over-photographing every little detail to show off how awesome their lives are. Take a few quick photos here and there is no cause for concern, but overdoing it causes them to miss out on the connections they should be making with their loved ones at the moment.
When we put social media first to impress the world, we’re forgetting to impress ourselves. We end up feeling dissatisfied and ungrateful with what we have. If you’re guilty of these habits too, you can break them with your child together.
For extra help juggling and multitasking, use your S’moresUp app and make the most of your time!