Some of the key concepts covered here:
- Facebook does not cause depression... but it can amplify the feeling for those teens who already have vulnerable self esteem.
- Teens are predisposed to focusing on select pieces of information. Facebook provides limited snapshots of their friends' lives and so it can cause a higher level of self comparison and a feeling of "not measuring up".
- Teens who are finding it difficult to maintain longer term frienships may use Facebook as a way to try to become accepted into a social group. The positive aspect of this is that Facebook can facilitate this by revealing or reinforcing commonalities. The negative is that it may cause a teen to feel "everyone has friends except me".
- Active parenting is necessary to help coach teens towards beneficial relationships. There are filters that permit a parent to "friend" their teen and yet limit the parent's ability to interact with the teen in that environment - which can help a teen feel more comfortable with a parent's presence in their list of Facebook friends.
Parenting seems to only get more complex. It's not enough to just talk about drugs, alcohol and sex. Now we need to teach them about how to use technology in a way that benefits their personal growth... and to be aware of the risks and possible negative impact from over reliance and misuse.
As parents, we want to keep abreast of the changing media and how it poses new challenges to our children and ourselves. This requires us to stay in tune with what technology our kids are using, how they use it, and how it can influence their feelings and development.
If you suspect that your child is suffering from depression, anxiety or other emotions that inhibit their well being, talk to a specialist. They can help you determine the best course of action to help your child.
Guard Up, Inc.