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Social media has changed life as we know it, both for the good and the not so good.
One problematic aspect of the current social media platforms is the addictive qualities they bring and the realization that we ourselves can become addicted to them before we know it.
My fellow parents, it is important to note that there is a general consensus that social media can be damaging to mental health.
It is also equally important to understand that it is difficult to realize the adverse effects that social media can have.
We are being programmed by these platforms to believe we need them in our lives through addictive features and small dopamine hits such as 'like buttons,' 'followers,' 'views,' and 'shares.'
This is especially true for young people, who are experiencing unprecedented mental health issues, such as depression and increased suicide rates in teens, many of which include social media a factor.
This week BBC News published an article called “Scroll Free September: Social media users urged to log off.”
Scroll Free September is designed to encourage users of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to log off for an entire month. The creators of the experiment believe that logging off social media for the month will improve sleep, relationships, and overall well being.
Testimonies from young women admit that they feel like a “slave” to their phone, scrolling with no purpose just to fill the void of their boredom. Comedian Russell Kane has mentioned that he no longer has control of how he’s using that machine. Ariana Grande announced this week she feels the same way and is taking it a step further, also taking a break from these apps.
For some people, cutting off social media all at once is a daunting task. Is that not an indicator that there might be a problem? This campaign is intended to help manage the habit, not to make people uncomfortable. The article includes tips for those who just want to dip their toes in before taking the plunge.
As parents, our hope is always that our children grow up in spaces that are loving and honest. Do you think you and your children would benefit from a month away from social media? I’d love to hear what everyone has to say about this idea!
If you are seeking advice in the world of tech and how it affects you and your family, we encourage you to send an email to Askada@mazufamily.com, and we will do our best to provide practical, insightful advice.
Janice Taylor is a social entrepreneur, mother, speaker, author and online safety advocate. Her credo of compassion, community, and caring drives the vision of her company Mazu, a safe and fun online platform for families. Mazu gives parents a place to communicate, play and connect with their children in a safe engagement environment.
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