Parents, Is Your Teen Abusing Social Media and Technology? Are You Concerned?
Written by Sheri Gallagher, in Section Articles
Parents, are you aware of the fact that their teenagers may very well be abusing social media and electronic technology on a daily basis? According to a recently published report by Common Sense Media, a non-profit group that focuses on helping people navigate the world of technology, many teenagers spend approximately nine hours per day using some type of screen, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and gaming devices. This is a staggering and disturbing figure.
In order to put it into the proper perspective, a typically school day is six to seven hours long. That means that most teenagers are spending more time using social than learning on a typical day. The question remains, can this quantity of exposure to electronic technology lead to addiction? Unfortunately the answer is yes. Parents must act responsibly by recognizing the signs that their teenagers are abusers or even addicts when it comes to social media and technology.
Real Life Teens - Social Media Addiction
The following are reasons your teenager may be abusing that if left untreated will get out of control.
Unhealthy behaviors meant to alleviate stess: When teenagers tend to have high levels of stress it may lead to an extremely unhealthy use of social media and technology. People in general, especially teenagers tend to rely on things that relax and decompress emotions when they are feeling the pressures that life brings. It is easy to form a pattern that leads to addiction.
Emotional Immaturity: Emotionally immature teenagers with poor social skills are more likely to socialize online because it is easier for them to make cyber friends than ones in person. This can lead to social media abuse and addiction due to the fact that they will be spending all of their free time socializing on their devices instead of attending events, parties, or even hanging out with friends in person. In addition to the potential for addiction, parents need to be aware that teenagers that fail to socialize in person are at a far greater risk of cyber bullying, mental abuse, and even sexual exploitation.
Special note - Predators have invaded the Internet posing as “friends” in order to take advantage emotionally immature teensagers. Although parents may believe that their child is safe, there is a real chance that they are opening themselves up for exposure to a malicious world on a daily basis.
Anxiety and depression: Many teenagers struggle with anxiety disorders and depression. Transitioning through teenhood has its natural "ups" and "downs". Unfortunately some teens are at a higher risk for social media and technology addiction because it may be a comforting distraction from upsetting thoughts and harmful emotions. When an action is taken over and over again it may certainly lead to an addiction.
Addictive personalities: Parents of teenagers that have had prior addiction issues, such as drugs or alcohol, need to be aware of the fact that one addiction can often times replace another. Substituting substance abuse with excessive use of social media and technology is most definitely not healthy. As a matter of fact the addictive behavior is a gateway that may lead to a relapse of the larger problem.
More about the publisher of this article - Wingate Wilderness Therapy. If you are a parent of a teenage child that is either addicted to social media and technology or is showing the signs of abuse, than WinGate Wilderness Therapy is an effective and unique solution designed to help your child get back on track.
Our cutting edge wilderness therapy program will provide your son or daughter will all of the essential tools needed to positively handle their addiction in the real world. Located in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in beautiful Southern Utah, Wingate Wilderness Therapy has helped a plethora of families from all over America. Call 800-560-1599.