Raising Teenagers: Is Your Child Addicted to Social Media?
The Black Hole of Social Media in Teenagers: Causes and Prevention for Parents
As with everything else in life, there can be “too much of a good thing.” Social media, while useful, can become an addiction rather quickly, especially in teenagers. Recognizing the signs of addictive social media behaviors are the first step a parent can take in preventing an addiction or intervening in one that is already taking hold. These steps include monitoring the use of social media apps by a teenager, encouraging real life activities so a balance is struck with social media, and of course, checking for the signs of a social media addiction.
Signs of Social Media Addiction
The signs of a social media addiction are: spending too much time checking and rechecking their posts online, becoming agitated when no one responds to their posts, refusing real life events such as sports and time out with friends outside the online world, becoming depressed if for some reason online access is not available for even a short amount of time and immediately checking social media responses and conversations when first rolling out of bed in the morning. Thankfully, new apps are developed that can assist parents in controlling and monitoring how much time is spent by their child online using social media. These apps include:
- Social Fever. This app uses a timer to monitory on time and off time and can be preset to shut off access whenever access to social media needs to be disrupted. Parents can preset times and only allow access to social media for a certain amount of time each day.
- Offtime. This is a Google Play app and can eliminate distractions not just for children and teens, but also for parents. It seems very useful overall, as there are several features that can be used on mobiles as well as tablets and laptops.
- Quality Time. Another app that allows monitoring, however it does not seem to actually block usage, instead the focus in on the monitoring of how much time is spent on social media. Might be a good choice for adults and their usage but seems not that spectacular for children and teens.
- Space. This is an Apple phone app and although it does the same thing as Social Fever above, it does seem by the reviews to have a few glitches. Since it’s geared to Apple also, it won’t be a good choice for Android users. It does tout itself as “breaking phone addiction” but only if the glitches will be fixed and only on Apple mobiles.
- Flipd. This is another Google app and promises distraction blocking. It does not monitor or seem to have the ability to block social media usage entirely. Again, it might be a useful app for adults looking to curb their own usage, but for children and teens, it might not be the best choice.
Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat or any other type of social media, being able to monitor the behavior online of your child, teenager, or perhaps even your own, is a big plus. Time online can be productive, or it can be counterproductive. It’s a fine line between enjoyment and addiction. The apps listed above will give you control, and you will find that your child, teen, or even you will find more enjoyable activities as a result!