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Harvard Health Blog
Heads up, parents: New study with important information about the online life of teens
- By Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Excessive social media or intensive engagement has real potential to cause mental health issues later in adulthood. Not every waking minute needs to be spent online!
Things are more worst than this research expressed in this article. Connection is pivotal but this should be face to face more than that the online. Prevalence of online connection over physical contact create complicated psychological effects on a youth brain. Young brain is like a empty plate where you can write whatever you like or what climate we provide.
More control, social and ethical norms are pivotal and effective engagement of youth will create society to prosper.
Muhammad Naeem ul Fateh, PhD
Time Management to do duties in a planned manner,all work and no play makes every one a dullard, work or studies or whatever profession one engages in, it should be dealt with dedicated determination,involved interest,guiding the tender wonders to engage themselves prioritizing assertively what is for fun and what is for living. Being with them to show the way in a palatable manner will definitely yield Positive results,sticking to the reality,rooted to earth,growing to touch the sky vertically and glowing abreast. Veritas.
This article is meaningless. Much of what Dr. McCarthy writes is well-known to parents who still practice common sense, but the rest is meaningless.
Kids shouldn’t go online because it “makes them feel good about themselves.” Try teaching your kids some skills, then they will have self-esteem for a good reason.
I don’t let my kids go online much, and never unsupervised. Responsible parents don’t let their kids play with screens much, be they tablets or computers (And never video games!).
Encourage them to read books and engage in real life activities. We spend too much time living through our devices, and that’s not living.
I very much disagree with you. Trying to completely take teen’s lives offline can disconnect them from their peers who organize and express themselves online. Technology is not per se a bad thing for young people, it is just desirable that they communicate openly with their parents. Which should be encouraged and trust built, rather than imposing surveillance on all their activities and robbing them off any freedom to express themselves without having their parents watch.
Stress about exclusion, anxiety about who doesn’t like them, worry about what others think of them, boredom…these are long-standing issues among teens and they certainly predate social media. But a generation *is* evolving with different approaches to these older symptoms. The further research question, and a good longitudinal study, would be to ask how — or to what extent — might teens’ social media behaviors and their motivating factors carry on into adulthood. The constant checking of one’s devices not only inhibits *real* social interactions but it severely impedes mental focus and fractures work flow.
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