My Drama Free Internet Resolution – Teens and drama go hand in hand. Parents should help and encourage their teens to create a drama free internet solution for themselves with a few tips.
My Drama Free Internet Resolution
My quest to better myself at raising drama free internet teens strangely originated from my own realization that I needed to delete some of the digital drama out of my own life.
Call it a resolution, I had a minor personal epiphany about 6 months ago that turned into a genuine desire to scale-back my social media use and stay away from certain agitating points of my web usage. I just realized at 1am one night (I work REALLY LATE) that I just don’t need EVERYTHING the internet has to offer and it might be better for me from a mental health standpoint if I just stepped back a bit. Nothing earth-shattering, just a minor life tweak.
My “minor epiphany” happened because I found myself becoming too emotionally involved with my facebook timeline and with the comments sections of news websites. I got tired of seeing constant political rants, endless pictures of my cousin’s cat, and unfunny memes on my facebook. Social media and browsing the net for articles of interest are supposed to be fun. Backbiting, unwanted opinions, and annoying behavior was sucking my enjoyment out of searching the web. I felt it was unhealthy for me to be drawn to negativity. Why was I logging onto facebook only to be annoyed? Why did I really care what a bunch of clowns thought of an article written about a news story in The Oakland Press? By the way, have you seen the “comments” on posts on that website? It’s like digital Fight Club.
My “major epiphany” came when I realized that if a fairly well-adjusted parent might have a problem with cyber drama, the problem must be HUGE for a teen or pre-teen that could get drawn into far more serious web drama, gossip, and bullying. I began to imagine how the 14-year old me might react if I had social media and the internet way back when. It wasn’t a pretty thought.
So, what did I do to make my own internet experience more drama free? That’s easy. I just completely avoided comment sections on websites and unfollowed or muted(but still kept as friends) some of the facebook friends that bothered me. I also limited checking on my facebook substantially and tried to make my computer time away from work a more peaceful time in general. This is a minor life change but one that truly makes a difference in my day to day happiness. Seriously, I recommend this to anyone who, like me, gets worked up about drama.
While my issue was easy to rectify, raising drama free internet teens in the digital world is more complex. I’ve only begun talking to my own kids about scaling back internet use, being wary of digital gossip, and showing them how easy it is to be an anonymous vile troll on the internet and how easy it is to become baited by them. It’s difficult for parents to monitor internet usage but not impossible. Even gentile reminders to limit social media usage can be effective. Constant reminders about the long-lasting impact a digital fingerprint left by a facebook post, instagram post, tweet, or comment can leave may also help.