Social networks have changed our lives and the way we communicate will never be the same. While there are advantages to living in a digital world, there are also risks. Today’s youth spend most of their free time connecting and interacting through a screen, missing out on developing important social skills. They can get lost in a world of unfair comparisons, cyberbullying and feeling left out.
Depression is on the rise among teenagers. Connecting is no big secret Via text messages, Instagram and Facebook There may be harsh judgments and comparisons.
It’s easy to write comments on a screen, otherwise it’s difficult to talk face-to-face. And disjointed, abstract conversations can easily lead to misunderstandings. It doesn’t help that digital communication happens at a fast pace and is sometimes difficult to process… more is spoken in writing and important conversations need to be face-to-face.
Teens use social media to connect, seek friendship and support, and sometimes ask for help. How and why your teen uses social media, staying connected, and more If you’re experiencing unexplained emotional changes, you’ll know what to look for.
The defining characteristic of a major depressive episode is at least two weeks of depression or loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities. For children, irritability is more common than depression. Other symptoms of depression may include: :
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in normal daily activities
- irritable mood
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Self-defense decreases
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation
- Fatigue or loss of energy.
- Feelings of worthlessness.
- Excessive guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Physical complaints: headache, abdominal pain.
- Social isolation
- Persistent thoughts about death.
- Suicidal thoughts, actions, or plans.
Depressive symptoms exhibited by adolescents negatively affect school performance (and attendance), friendships, and family relationships. The hardest part about teenage depression is that it can be gradual. Complaints of difficulty sleeping or frequent headaches seem age-appropriate, and in many cases they are. However, they should not happen continuously. If your normally active and social teen seems lonely or sad, it’s time to seek help.
How to help your child keep social media from affecting them
Believe it or not, your teen wants your support and guidance, but finding the balance between helping and trying to fix everything can be difficult. Follow these tips to support your teen :
- Ask questions. Ask what apps you’re using but without it sounding like an interrogation. Give him space to enjoy the benefits of social media. When conflicts arise online, your child should know how to handle these situations and he should learn this from you.
- Be a good role model. Modeling is very important during adolescence. Teenagers are confronted with new and confusing information every day. Growing up in the digital age is no easy task. When parents follow their own rules and stick to their own limits, teens learn important lessons about self-care and setting limits.
- Communication with your children. It comes down to talking to them more often. Parents have an important role to play in helping teens process and cope with what they see online. Talk about your own experiences on social media. Have you ever felt jealous while scrolling through your feed? Have you accepted a friend request that turned out to be a fake profile because you didn’t take the time to look? As parents share their own experiences and talk openly about the ups and downs of social media, teens are more open about their experiences.