Today, four out of five teens are using social media, so that means that the world is growing more social, right? Sadly, no! Research is actually showing us the opposite is happening. The more time teens spend communicating through screens, the fewer close friends they have, and the more they struggle with communicating face to face. Communication takes practice, and the more we are in front of our screens, the less likely we are to want to talk with people face to face!
We are naturally social beings. When we separate ourselves from what we are meant to do (be around people), we get insecure, depressed, emotional, confused, fearful, anxious, and/or just plain weird.
Summer break is here, and it’s the perfect breeding ground for teenagers to become socially awkward, especially with the abundance of new social networking apps that have come out this last year! When teens stay up until 3 AM with the bright glow of a screen illuminating their face, they will develop sleep disorders. They will lose friends, and believe it or not, they can become cranky when asked to participate in family time. Teens actually lose the desire to communicate face to face.
We as parents and teachers (Since Josh is not actually a parent of a teen, it seems a better way to say this by adding “and teachers”.) can help protect our kids from the impending social media harm by introducing them to the world—the real world around them. We can go against the media stream and teach our kids how to be socially confident and engaging. I would like to encourage you to explore the many activities that our community provides, and create a plan of action to keep you and your teen socially active this summer!