It’s not that social media is good or bad, the real question is: what we are willing to trade for likes, views, and follows?

This is a great conversation to have with kids and teens over christmas break: What do they hope to get out of using social media? What will they have to give up to have those expectations met? Are their expectations realistic, or are they willing to do anything for their shot at fluke viral fame? Instead of “rules,” collaborate with your teen to co-create and take ownership of their social media ethic- and be mindful that the most vulnerable kids online are the kids with needs that aren’t getting met through parent, peer, and support relationships.

I believe social media links us in a way that can help us be more aware of social issues, more empowered in pieces of our identities that might have once been a source of shame, and can provide a world of opportunity and encouragement to do the thing that we do uniquely in the world, but it can be tricky. For kids and adults alike, practice tuning-in to your internal experience when using social media. Curate your feed to bring you the content that builds you up, set boundaries around what you will and will not share, and if the desire for more and more engagement feels overwhelming, check-in with yourself about what that need might be saying, and consult with a therapist for more support if needed.

 

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