You know that feeling, don’t you? You post a picture on Instagram or share something on Facebook or even write something meaningful (or at least you think so) on your blog and then you wait. Will anyone see it? Will they like it? Perhaps even share it or retweet the wisdom you just shared?
According to the research one-fifth of teens wake up during the night to check their social media feed.
The research comes from outside of the US, but I have to believe this is true in our country as well. I remember hearing about teens who put plastic over their phones so they could have them while they showered because they were afraid they would miss something while separated from their device.
There have been other studies that have looked at teens texting at night.
While this information is neither new or surprising, it does shine a light on how connected we can become as people to social media and technology.
Youth speaker and author Jonathan McKee offers these suggestions for parents in addressing the issue and helping students make wise choices regarding social media use and technology in general.
1) Have conversations about the effects of social media. Not lectures… conversations! Read them one of the articles linked above and ask, “Is this right?” Then ask, “What do you think is a wise way to prevent this?”
2) Don’t think mere rules will solve the problem. The answer isn’t as simple as just limiting screen time (which isn’t a bad thing) or buying the newest parental tracking software for your kids’ phones (which isn’t fool proof by any means). Instead take the time and effort to teach your kids responsibility with their mobile devices. Here are 5 steps to actually doing that.
3) Look for ways to connect with your over-connected kids without have to say, “Put that stupid phone away.” Give them opportunities to enjoy “tech free” zones. Here are the top 5 of these connections I return to again and again.
If social media is keeping your teens up at night (or even you for that matter), this is good information for parents and those who work with students.