By Staff Writer
Most parents want their teens to have friends and a sense of belonging, but could your teen be over-connected?
On any given day, more than half of American teens are logging on to a social media website, one-quarter of whom log on more than 10 times per day, according to a report published online in Pediatrics. Just 10 years ago, teens spent most of their free time playing sports or games or hanging out with friends. Now, the majority of free time is monopolized by technology.
Research shows that social networking in various forms, including Facebook, Twitter and texting, has both positive and negative effects on teens. Ironically, being over-connected leaves many teens feeling completely disconnected.
Pros of Social Networking Among Teens
Cons of Social Networking Among Teens
Parents are not powerless against the lure of the Internet. Be your child’s “friend” on Facebook and learn how social media can be used by experimenting with these sites yourself. If your teen is over-connected, make a plan to get them active, involved in extracurricular activities and spending time with the family.
Teens who are already suffering from the side effects of too much time online may benefit from counseling, a wilderness therapy program or therapeutic boarding school. These therapeutic programs for teens give young people a break from technology and the “noise” of daily life and help them develop the skills to use technology appropriately.