Social Media, Teens, and Moderation

I recently shared this infographic courtesy of Common Sense Media with my class…and an interesting discussion occurred.

social media info graphic

inforgraphic2

infographic3

infographic4
Image courtesy of Common Sense Media, 2018 

When I asked if there were any surprises in these results the only overwhelming outlier was that the given value of 46% of parents worrying too much about their youth’s social media was “too high”. When we explored more deeply the elicited response, several students offered that, “They use it [social media], too!” “My mom’s always on Facebook.” “They know how important it is [to them].” “My parents couldn’t live without it [Facebook].” Hmmm.

I inquired if my students felt that there was a degree of hypocrisy from this group of over-worrying parents? The sentiment was a rounding…sort of. It seems that some parents are viewed as hypocritical by their charges, while others feel that their parents model appropriate and health use, while still “don’t seem to care”. Confused? Me, too.

Perhaps parental social media behaviour may or may not predict that of their children. Some kids are tremendous users of social media while their parents are not. Some parents are extremely heavy users of social media while the use of their children’s social media behaviour is heavily regulated. And still, other families warmly embrace the power of ‘staying connected digitally’. With a very cursory Google search, I was unable to find any relevant or useful research to support my suppositions.

As I continue to reduce my use of social media and my onscreen time (I’m fully aware of the hypocrisy of publishing a blog.), I continue to be more picky and discerning about what, and how, I use my time on social media. Connecting to my men’s support group? Yep. Selling used kids’ ski clothing? Why wouldn’t I? Finding out that the son of a friend mine from twenty years ago just graduated from art school? Not so much. Learning that my next door neighbour finally mastered the art of barbequing the perfect strip sirloin? I think that I’d rather spend that time learning about culinary arts myself.

From alcohol and drugs to sex and food (any potentially addictive human behaviour) isn’t it really just about moderation?

Moderation.

Yep. That’s my mantra for 2019.

Everything in moderation.

JY

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