Tuesday, 27 August 2019

See How to Raise Kids in an Instagram World

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While Mental Health Is a Complex Issue, Parents Can Safeguard Their Teens' Well-being With Healthy Social Media Practices.

What started out as a photo sharing platform has become a useful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. With one billion people using Instagram every month, it's no surprise that people use it as their favorite advertising platform.

There are many reasons why people use Instagram, including keeping in touch with others, identifying new destinations to visit, and self-expression.

However, social media can lead to unnecessary comparisons, dissatisfaction with life, and feelings of abandonment. Since suic-de rates are linked to the use of social media, it is more important for parents to have a tool at their fingertips than ever before. As teenagers desperately try to integrate and find their place in the world, it is clear that social media can hurt their self-esteem and mental health.

How can we address the issue of social media and adolescent mental health? It's time for parents to get involved and deal with the teen's mental health at home.

Although mental health is a complex issue, parents can protect the well-being of their teens through sound social media practices. See how you can provide your kids with a healthy social media relationship and a rewarding life beyond their screens.

1. Show them what's real and what's fake.

Social media distorts reality. Snapchat and Instagram filters are fun, but they can quickly warp our sense of what's real.

Take a photo and show your teen how filters are added to make photos look a certain way. Talk about how lighting, tones, and Photoshop affect an image.

Show your teen FaceTune and other apps that allow you to alter and blur imperfections on the face or body. This allows you to alter your physique and create an unrealistic image for social media.

This sounds obvious, but many teens don't realize that social media is full of almost exclusively edited images. They can learn to manage their expectations as they scroll through their feed, preserving their sense of self-esteem by avoiding unrealistic comparisons.

2. Encourage teens to live in the moment.

Social media is great to stay in touch with friends and family - when used in moderation. Most of us like to indulge in social media from time to time, but it's a recipe for losing time.

Social media makes us feel like we aren't living in the moment. We're either caught up with other people's Instagram posts or worrying about what we'll post next to get the most likes.

While it feels like we're connected with other people on social media, it's a way to escape real-world social interactions. Studies show that excessive social media use can make a person feel more isolated and depressed.

Set a limit on your child's phone for social media apps. Experts suggest limiting teens' social media use to no more than 30 minutes per day.

Instead of plugging in to social media for hours on end, encourage your child to get involved with activities, like sports or school clubs, that help them feel part of a group. It's these social interactions that will help your teen feel accepted and happy, not taking selfies on Snapchat.

3. Invest in your parent-child relationship.

Adults are just as guilty as teens when it comes to social media use. Don't let screens be a substitute for a face-to-face relationship with your child.

Lead by example. Limit your time on social media and stop obsessing over your Instagram likes. Give your teen love and attention without documenting it on Snapchat or anywhere else online. Show that life happens outside of Instagram.

Demonstrate unconditional love and acceptance when you talk to your teen, especially when they're feeling low. If they're feeling sad, validate their feelings and understand their disappointment.

Allow your home to be a safe place where they can talk about their feelings. This opens the door to positive conversations about self-esteem and their identity, which can help with early intervention to preserve teen health.

Social media is an important tool in teens' lives, but parents have to set healthy expectations and practices. Together we can prevent self-harm and suicide by spotting unrealistic images, setting social media boundaries, and investing in our personal relationships.

About Kristen Wessel (Writer)
As a former Emmy-Award Winning News Anchor and over 10 years of experience in the news industry, Kristen prides herself on being able to tell great stories and build lasting relationships with the media. She’s anchored at WSPA in Greenville, South Carolina, KCWY in Casper, Wyoming and KZSW in Temecula, California and more recently before becoming the Senior Director of Public Relations and Operations at ChicExecs, she was a News Anchor at San Diego 6, XETV. Her insider knowledge gives clients and readers a better understanding of how the media works. At ChicExecs, Kristen has secured meaningful media placements for clients and goes above and beyond to help promote and maintain their brands.

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