“I stay off of social media, it just gives me too much anxiety seeing everyone’s perfect lives.”
I’ve heard this often from adults but never from a teenager. “Maybe you don’t talk to enough teenagers,” you might say.
I would respond with this: I did hair for almost a decade and many of my clients were in Junior High and High School and shared a lot of private things with me, including their struggles, so I sort of have a little experience interacting with that age group.
Do you remember being an adolescent? Emotional maturity, self-image and judgement are incredibly difficult to master or control during this time. Can you imagine how hard it would be for someone ages 10-25 to deliberately choose to swear off the very thing that could be causing their depression? Something that nearly ALL of their peers are engaging in? I’m talking about Social Media, specifically.
I believe that it could prove nearly impossible and that’s why I think it’s time we parents take matters into our own hands.
Some believe that suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in Americans between 10 and 34. What’s one obvious difference between this generation and those before it? Digital technology.
We can tell an adolescent until we are blue in the face that people are simply showing the highlights but that’s not going to convince them. Humans learn through experience best and until our children get out there and start living their lives alone, it’s probably not going to click for them.
So for now the best we can do is all we can do: Educate ourselves on adolescent suicide and on digital technology. The internet is a powerful tool friends, let’s arm ourselves with the knowledge we each individually need and take back our children.
The application of this may look different for each family as our family dynamics and cultures are all different, a knowledgeable parent usually knows what’s best for their individual child.