The anxiety and stress that all of us experienced and endured as teens is that same anxiety and stress, but, on steroids for today’s teens. All the insecurities about personal appearance, do they like me?, am I attractive?, the pressure to make grades in school, are now operating in the social media realm of Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Bullies, always present during the teen years, can do their work in cyberspace now, and do it anonymously if they choose.
It should be said at the outset that the Digital Age has brought enormous advantages to all of us. For example, just think about all the time spent in libraries laboriously reading and researching that all of us had to do, which is now available with a simple click on your digital device or your smart phone. It has been said that never has more information been available, yet, never a greater need for wisdom in making smart choices about our daily lives. The topic today addresses the dark side of this and if you’re a teen or a parent, I hope you find today’s broadcast helpful in your own life.
This is the headline from a recent Wall Street Journal feature article:
The Teenage Social-Media Trap/Teens increasingly measure and manage their social success online?and it may be taking a toll on their mental health.
My three guests today all are dealing with this from the very front lines, as it were, and I am grateful that they have agreed to share with all of us what stresses and strains they are all dealing with as teens in today’s digital age: Alexandria King, a junior at Greenhill, Sonia Dhingra, a freshman, and just graduated this spring and off to college, Amber Johri
In this episode you will learn:
- About a very insightful opinion piece written by Sonia on the need to slow things down to help deal with always feeling “spread thin” and the techniques she employs to do so.
- The ambitions for their lives, including getting into the college of their choice and for one of the guests, Alexandria, running for elective office someday. They will elaborate on how they deal with the emotions and stress that go with that?
- Unlike prior generations they have only known a life with social media and the internet. They will talk about the good things and bad things that this has brought into their lives?
- About cyber-bullying and the impact on the self-esteem of teens and the contribution this can make to suicides and suicide attempts.
- How life in the A. S.A. P. Lane contributes to the alarming increase in teen suicide attempts. Mental health is openly discussed at Greenhill and the testimony of some on Senior Day is truly eye-opening.
- How the hyper-vigilance that some adolescents feel forced to maintain online is anxiety-provoking and hijacks time away from more important things like homework and sleep
- About some recent research reports that those who care more about their online popularity, are more likely a year-later to engage in risky behavior such as substance abuse. It said that girls were particularly at risk for developing mental and emotional problems from the overuse of social media, since girls were more prone to conflate the attention they get on social media with their self-worth.
If you are a teen, I hope you find this episode helpful in your own life and if you are the parent of a teen, I also hope you find it helpful.