Social Media Challenge for Teens

Social Media Challenge for Teens – Finding ways to challenge teens to explore their social media habits to see if they are healthy, unhealthy, or a complete waste of time.

Social Media Challenge for Teens

My social media challenge for teens isn’t to “shield my snowflakes” from opposing views or anything controversial, it’s simply a question of overall health and well-being. I’ll also say that I don’t use my personal social media to be challenged politically, my Twitter and Facebook timelines are my happy places. No one brings their extreme politics to my kitchen table in person, why would I let them do that on my social media feeds?

I’ve received a lot of praise and some criticism regarding my somewhat strict media policies I enforce on my kids – **NO tv, video games, computer time (YouTube videos), tablet or cell phone apps before 6p every day through the entire summer**. Basically, my spouse and I just wanted to make sure they were up and moving around. With most forms of social media, I want to make sure the negativity and downright hatred doesn’t effect them mentally or socially.

We all have heard about facebook oversharing, facebook bragging and how it causes jealousy, and don’t get me started about the overabundance of political rants and the friendships that has destroyed – and I’m talking about ADULTS. Imagine the the damage of hurtful exposure for a tween or teen that is growing into his/her own self and personality and the conflict it can cause.

As an adult, I’m having a hard time finding the overall positive impacts of most forms of social media. Not only am I severely restricting my own personal use of social media, I guess you could call it self-policing. I’m starting to wonder how I can help educate my children that 1 – they don’t need to spend a lot time with their social media, and 2 – The negatives outweigh the positives. Basically, my Social Media Challenge for Teens is the same I one I asked myself when I decided to cut back dramatically on
Facebook and Twitter.

Social Media Challenge for Teens – Filtering

Ask your teen to go through their facebook feed and honestly ask them, how many of those posts do they TRULY enjoy. How many do they smile at, snicker at, make them feel positive, make them feel… social? How many are trash, bragging, a political tug of war, or simply inane and repetitive? Challenge your teen scale back on negavtive friends, close feeds, unfollow, mute… whatever to see if it brings a more positive aspect to their social media experience.

Social Media Challenge for Teens – Facebook Feed Issues

The sad aspect of facebook is that now matter how many of your “friends” feeds your turn off, you STILL see their likes. If someone tags your friends with something negative or offensive to you, it still shows up on your timeline even if your “friend” doesn’t engage in negative behavior. Twitter is easier to handle – my “Turn off Retweets” option is my favorite feature.

Social Media Challenge for Teens – Scale Back

When I began self-policing and cutting back my facebook and twitter screen time, my mood brightened – considerably. I would read, exercise, take a walk, practice guitar… everything I tried made me feel better. If I was trying to “unwind” online, it would be to research topics I enjoyed (exercise, guitar, travel destinations, ebay). I highly recommend asking your teen to scale back their fb, Twitter, IG time to see how they feel about life and about themselves.

Social Media Challenge for Teens – Filtering Hatred and Negativity

There’s a campaign being promoted by Brita called “Filtered Life”. Filtered Life is Brita teaming up with Cybersmile.Org and NBA Superstar Steph Curry to “filter out the negativity and get to the good online”. Powerful message, but I’m unsure what actions will be taken besides selling water filters and
putting postive messages about overcoming cyberbullying and hatred online on youtube.

I fully understand that social media and cell phone use is a huge part of most everyone’s daily existence. I’m not asking teens to throw away their phone and live off the grid. The Social Media Challenge for Teens is just a way to explore what their own personal growth if they aren’t being surrounded by a lot of the negativity and downright hatred that exists in social media.

For more info on the Social Media Challenge for Teens or to find a great resource for a positive online experience, visit www.cybersmile.org or www.brita.com/filtered-life.

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