Preteens and teens are developmentally moody, emotional and at times, unhappy. Most parents can attest to this. But more is happening during these developmental days than biology. In the digital age, we need to keep evaluating the impact of social media on measures of well-being when it comes to our preteens.
A report entitled, Social Media Use and Children’s Well-Being, concludes that just one hour a day of social networking makes a difference. “Spending one hour a day chatting on social networks reduces the probability of being completely satisfied with life overall by approximately 14 percentage points.” This finding raises concerns as preteens typically spend more than one hour a day on social networking. And the types of interactions they have that deal with social comparisons, cyberbullying, and finite resources when using social media should have us concerned.
According to the report, “Our results suggest that spending more time on social networks reduces the satisfaction that children feel with all aspects of their lives, except for their friendships; and that girls suffer more adverse effects than boys.”
The report also notes positive aspects of online networking–helping with loneliness, creating empathy opportunities, etc. But bottom line, limiting your child’s use of social media will improve his or her well-being.
Consider these parenting pointers.