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In this short video, Lauren Muriello, LPC of Well Being Therapy Center, talks about the damage to a teenager’s self-esteem that can occur by spending hours looking at hundreds of pictures of their friends on social media.
When teens are constantly comparing themselves to their friends’ social media “highlight reels,” it can be really hard for them to feel good about themselves because what they’re seeing are illusions.
We must point out to our kids that things are often not what they appear to be, especially where social media is concerned. Most teens are not highlighting the challenges or struggles they have in their lives or when things didn’t go so great.
As mentioned by Lauren, there is research that suggests that teens who spend less time on their phones engaging with social media do report being happier and more satisfied, as stated in this excellent article in the Washington Post.
Of course, parents will make their determination about what the max screen time threshold should be for their child, but the prevailing wisdom is that teenagers should keep their screen time to two hours a day or less.
It’s really important now more than ever that parents are making sure their teenagers are engaged in face-to-face activities… sports, art, music, or even just hanging out with their friends in person.
Unfortunately, we need to encourage something that should happen naturally, but that’s the world we live in now. As parents, we need to come up with creative strategies to help our kids socialize in ways that build real connections.
I love Lauren’s suggestion to challenge/entice your teenagers and their friends to leave their phones in a basket for a specified time when they come to your house. In exchange for their phones, you can offer something special, like going out for Sushi later or even ice cream. I know sushi is not inexpensive, but if we can use it to teach our teenagers the importance of connecting face-to-face, I say bring on the ahi tuna roll.
I do hope you get a chance to watch the video above and opt in for the whole series. I think there are some good takeaways sprinkled throughout. If you missed the opt-in form at the end of the video, here it is again.
Enter your email to see the entire 9-part video series with Lauren Muriello, LPC
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A Non-Profit Overnight Summer Camp For Teens Ages 13-18Located in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.