Social media is a big part of most teen’s lives. It’s an excellent tool for communicating with family and friends. Teen social media use also allows them to socialize with people who have similar interests and beliefs. Despite all that, parents need to set some ground rules regarding its use. These healthy social media restrictions can protect teens from getting so involved that social media interferes with other aspects of their lives like school and family. If your teen has been struggling with a social media addiction, please contact Foothills at Red Oak at 866.300.5275 for treatment options.
Why Is It Important to Control a Teen’s Social Media Use?
The goal of any parent is to help their child develop skills to manage their lives. That’s why setting rules about social media use is critical.
There is a larger picture issue with social media. The things people posted on platforms like TikTok or Instagram can haunt them for decades. Sometimes, it can even put them at risk from predators.
Once something exists on the internet, there are few ways to delete it. Postings can damage a person’s reputation when they look for jobs, apply to colleges, or even make new friends.
Social media activity also contributes to the amount of screen time teens experience. It is the new normal for people to sit in front of the TV while scrolling through social media on a phone or computer. Too much screen time can contribute to obesity and poor grades at school. It can interfere with family time and keep teens from participating in activities.
Healthy Social Media Restrictions
There are benefits to using social media, too. For example, it promotes creativity and allows teens to make global connections that can be motivating.
However, have some healthy restrictions in place to limit screen time and promote social media safety. Some common-sense guidelines might include:
- Parents must have access to all social media accounts. Friend your teen on Facebook, for example, so that you can follow the posts.
- Keep devices that access social media in a shared room. That means no smartphones or laptop computers in the bedroom.
- Set time limits for social media use. There are apps that parents can use to track social media time. Placing reasonable time limits and monitoring use with apps ensures teens learn to appreciate other types of communication. For example, you might allow them an hour in the evening to go through their social media accounts and catch up with friends.
- Parents should have access to all passwords for phones, computers, and social media accounts.
Along with restrictions, parents should talk to teens about social media safety.
Talking About Social Media Use and Safety
Talking together about behavior on social media makes it clear what parents expect from teens. Discuss posting appropriate images and how to treat others online. Teens should understand how to take selfies without giving away personal information, like where they are at that moment. Selfies that show they are out somewhere should go online once they return home.
Also, discuss the treatment teens have a right to expect on social media sites. The conversation should include how to recognize cyberbullying and what to do if it happens.
Seek Treatment at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
Too much social media use can lead to a process or behavioral addiction that may require treatment. Foothills at Red Oak Recovery works with adolescent teen boys with addictions or other behavioral issues, including those involving social media.
Programs at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery include:
If you are struggling with your teen’s social media use, let us help. Call us at 866.300.5275 or go online and fill out our contact form. Foothills at Red Oak Recovery specializes in issues that affect teens.