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Published:July 5, 2022

Social Media Breaks for Teens

Yes, I said it. Have your teen take a break from social media. Teens are spending more and more time on social media, which is impacting their mental health. Your teen may not necessarily see this as a must, but as the parent, you may want to. Social media plays a big role in teen culture today. According to the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry,  90% of teens ages 13-17 have used social media. 75% report having at least one active social media profile, and 51% report visiting a social media site at least daily. 2/3 of teens have their own mobile devices with internet capabilities. On average, teens are online almost 9 hours a day, not including time for homework. Here are some pros and cons of social media to consider.

Potential benefits of social media include:

  • Staying connected to friends and family
  • Meeting new friends with shared interests
  • Sharing their work (art, music, collections, dance, etc)
  • Positive and inspirational people to follow
  • Exploring and expressing themselves

Potential risks of social media include:

  • Exposure to harmful or inappropriate content (e.g., sex, drugs, violence, etc.,)
  • Exposure to dangerous people
  • Cyberbullying is a risk factor for depression and suicide
  • Oversharing personal matters
  • Sleep
  • Isolation
  • Comparing themselves to others can lead to low self-esteem

Here are some strategic ways to have your teen get off their phone. Sometimes it’s easier if you make it a family thing

  • No phone during dinner or events
  • No phone after a certain time if it’s interfering with their sleep
  • No phone for a limited amount of time daily
  • Encourage them to try a new hobby
  • Suggest they return to some old interest or hobbies
  • Enroll them in sports or other activities
  • Have family time with no phones
  • Be an example as a parent

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