Parenting isn’t easy. Neither is being a teen. Social media has found a way to make both positions even tougher.
There is plenty of talk about bullying being a big issue among teens; particularly cyber bullying that has no boundaries. But more often than not, teens are stressing out about their online relationships – what’s being said or not being said about them on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Teens are also stressing about what their parents are able to see of their online activity.
Social Media Altering Teen’s Lives
Social media has taken a big role in the lives of teens. Rarely in the daily life of a teen do they not log in to one or more social media sites. They spend a large amount of time investing energy in their online relationships. Some teens have altered their sleep patterns as devices such as smart phones and tablet computers never leave their sides, even when they’re supposed to be sleeping.
Teens are becoming more aware of the fact that their online activities aren’t just between friends. Parents see what they’re doing, and many teens will attempt to hide their activity. Friends’ parents see the activity as well, as do teachers. What teenagers are having a harder time grasping is that they can’t take it back and it goes down as a permanent online record that future employers can see.
Parent’s Role In Teen’s Social Media
Parents are taking a more active role and talking to their teens about the importance of being responsible online. Some parents sneak onto their teen’s accounts to do random checks, but others are finding more success with face-to-face conversations and full access to accounts.
Censorship might cause some of the stress, but most teens are more concerned about why they have fewer likes or fewer friends than some of their online friends, which can lead to stress that most grown ups don’t identify with, but are encouraged to understand and address in their teens.