Digital Wellbeing / Screen Time / Social Media and Apps
Many activities can provide us with a way to escape from the pressures of everyday life. However, if we use them too much, they can start negatively impacting our mood. If an activity begins to make us feel anxious, or affects our schoolwork or relationships, then we may need to consider how we can develop healthy boundaries.
Did you know?
According to a report by Ofcom (2021), 99% of households with children have access to the internet. Of these, children aged 7-16 spend an average of 3.48 hours a day online (24.36 pw).
Can social media be addictive?
With social media becoming such a big part of everyday life for all of us, the impact of too much social media is becoming a real problem. The overuse of social media has a big part to play in mental health issues.
Signs of problematic social media usage:
They would rather be at home on the tablet, phone, or gaming console instead of socialising with friends.
They feel that they’re missing out if they aren’t engaging with others on social media.
They complain that everyone else has a better life than them based on what they see online.
The first thing they do when they wake up is check for notifications.
They frequently complain of being tired because they are online late rather than sleeping.
They check their feeds when doing other activities such as watching TV or eating dinner with family.
You have to tell them off for scrolling through their feeds when you’re having a conversation with them.
They exhibit signs of anxiety if they do not have access to mobile data or Wi-Fi.
They feel compulsion to post all their activities on social media and monitor the views and reactions.
Impacts of Problematic Social Media Use:
Interrupted or lack of sleep.
A feeling of low mood, anxiety, or depression.
Feeling that they are missing out on experiences after seeing everyone else's posts online.
Becoming jealous of other people’s lives.
'Offline' relationships become damaged and less important than online ones.
Less able to concentrate in school or on homework.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
Social media has plenty of positive benefits, but these depend on the boundaries we place on its use.
In order to reduce the consequences, device time also needs to be reduced. Try some of the tips below:
Set healthy, shared boundaries for the family including specific times when everyone can check their social media profiles.
Get them to turn their phones off when in school or during family events.
Suggest they leave their phone in a different room for family dinner time.
Don’t bring phones or tablets into the bedroom (get an old-fashioned alarm clock!).
Encourage a healthy balance of socialising 'in real life' at clubs, sports, activities, or going to the movies with friends.
Discuss the role of social media in our lives and how it makes us feel.
Share this with your friends, family and colleagues
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