2021 | Week of October 25 | Radio transcription # 1435
Addiction is powerful, especially for young people. An addiction can mean a life of struggles and unusual difficulties on many levels. But parents can tell the difference.
It seems Americans’ newest addiction is technology, and more specifically social media. This vice is particularly strong among young people. A recent online poll conducted earlier this month by SocialSphere and Harvard pollster John Della Volpe proves it.
The survey involved just over 1,600 regular Facebook and Instagram users. To be clear, Facebook owns Instagram; thus, it is extremely easy for people to go back and forth between the two platforms.
The pollster announced the results of the poll using his Twitter account, noting, in summary, that “[n]at the beginning, 2/3 of Americans who use platforms think that life was better without them ”and that“ 42% of #GenZ [are] intoxicated [and] can’t stop if they tried.
According to the pollster, the most common words used by GenZers after being on Facebook are depressed, angry, alone and missing. Additionally, about a third of GenZers report that Instagram “has a negative impact on their body image,” a significantly higher amount than the response from other age groups.
GenZs, also called “zoomers”, are those born between 1997 and 2012, aged 9 to 24. Demographers say 68 million people in America make up GenZ. Research shows that between 72% and 82% of Americans use social media. Assuming this percentage goes for each age group, that means the vast majority of our young people are by far on social media and many are addicted to it and find themselves powerless to break the habit.
On some level, the social media platform doesn’t really matter. Young people in particular find social media highly addicting and as such it greatly affects their quality of life.
The warning in this seems obvious: Parents must take immediate action to protect their pre-teens and teens from developing this dangerous and debilitating addiction.
First, parents need to realize that using social media can become much more than an innocent way for kids to connect with other kids, or it is just harmless entertainment. Don’t assume and be an ostrich. Just being online increases the risk of children being exposed to inappropriate content and prowling predators who are very good at what they do – luring naive children into a sordid and sometimes extremely dangerous world.
If a parent lets a child have access to digital technology and social media platforms, they should at least be aware of and use all parental controls, including privacy and security settings. Make it clear to your child that you will be a “friend” or whatever the term is used on any social media platform they have access to. Keep a close eye on who your son or daughter invites and accepts invitations. In fact, a wise practice is not to allow new “friends” unless you approve of it.
In an age-appropriate manner, we strongly recommend that you discuss with your child the dangers of cell phone use, the internet in general, and social media in particular. Help them know what constitutes inappropriate text or photo exchange, social media post, or online video. Don’t assume they know. Be proactive. Of course, always make it clear to your child that you are a safe place to talk to them, share their concerns, bring questionable items, ask questions. You should be a safe haven for your son or daughter.
We strongly recommend that you invest in a quality filter for all devices. It’s not foolproof, but a good filter helps. Finally, we urge families to have digital devices and internet rules that apply to everyone, even mom and dad. Limit how long, and when and where family members can be on devices and access social media. Of course, the consistent implementation of these practices and constant discipline in the event of a violation is essential.
None of the above constitutes pervasive bad parenting. You are not invading your child’s privacy; you are acting in their best interests. You take the right steps to help them avoid developing a hard-to-overcome addiction that comes with a host of potential mental health issues. It is good and godly parenthood.
Here is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you that the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Julaine Appling has taught at the college, high school and college levels and was a private school administrator for five years. In 1998, she was asked to become the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Family Council, where her mission is to advance Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and peace. freedom. In addition to being interviewed regularly for Wisconsin television, radio, and newspapers, she is the host of “Wisconsin Family Connection,” which airs weekly on nearly 50 Wisconsin radio stations, including The Radio Network. VCY America.
Learn more about WIFamilyCouncil.org