Social Media and Mental HealthOct 14, 2021
You may have heard about the whistleblower from Facebook who revealed that the company knew their algorithm was bad for public health, particularly adolescent mental health. Of course, there's much more to this story.
So, what can we learn from all this? And, most importantly, what actions can we take to use social media more mindfully and in healthier ways?
We'll dig into those questions in the video below. Below the video you'll find the resources we noted in the chat along with additional resources to support you.
Adults and Social Media Use:
- "Social Media is Attention Alcohol" https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/09/social-media-attention-alcohol-booze-instagram-twitter/620101/
- Ongoing literature review on social media and mental health (for adults and kids): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w-HOfseF2wF9YIpXwUUtP65-olnkPyWcgF5BiAtBEy0/edit
- "Dopamine, Smartphones, and You: A Battle for Your Time" https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/dopamine-smartphones-battle-time/
Facts About Screen Time for Kids and Teens
- General facts: https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-And-Watching-TV-054.aspx
- Exposure to TV ads: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Adverse-Effects-of-Television-Commercials.aspx
- Social media and teens: https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Social-Media-and-Teens-100.aspx
- Social media and adolescent depression: https://childmind.org/article/is-social-media-use-causing-depression/
- Girls' Attitudes Survey (section on social media): https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/globalassets/docs-and-resources/research-and-campaigns/girls-attitudes-survey-2021-report.pdf
- How social media affects teens: https://childmind.org/article/how-using-social-media-affects-teenagers/
ADHD and Media Use
- Understanding digital overload: https://www.goodrx.com/well-being/healthy-mind/what-is-digital-overload-definition-symptoms-how-to-manage
- New FDA approved technology to entrain better attention and less impulse control troubles in kids with ADHD: www.endeavorrx.com
- Do video games cause ADHD? https://childmind.org/article/do-video-games-cause-adhd/
Tips For Parents
- General tips: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Tips-for-Parents-Digital-Age.aspx
- Social media rules to set:
- Elementary age: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/social-media/what-are-the-basic-social-media-rules-for-elementary-school-age-kids
- Middles schoolers: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/social-media/what-are-the-basic-social-media-rules-for-middle-schoolers
- High schoolers: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/social-media/what-are-the-social-media-basics-for-high-school-kids
- Talking about safe media use with teens: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Points-to-Make-With-Your-Teen-About-Media.aspx
- Creating a family media use plan: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/How-to-Make-a-Family-Media-Use-Plan.aspx
- Navigating teen phone use: https://childmind.org/article/when-should-you-come-between-a-teenager-and-her-phone/
- Monitoring the use of digital media with kids and teens with the "TECH" method :
- T stands for “talk” to your children about media use and do not avoid the subject.
- E is to “educate” them about the potential risks and benefits of wise use of electronic devices.
- C is for “co-viewing”, spending time with your teens and children watching media and /or playing games to get a sense of what they are doing their preferred content and activities.
- H is for the establishment of “House “ rules for the use and non-use of media
A Note About Social Skills...
Kids and teens are experiencing a large part of their social and emotional development online. When kids /teens use digital communication forms consistently, it can negatively effect social skills because they are more likely to miss nonverbal and social cues that occur in offline (in-person) interactions. Interacting with other people online can have benefits for children with social anxiety, but it's different than an “in-person” interaction.
When we communicate electronically we experience the interaction differently because there are less observed nonverbal cues, less noticing of body language, a sense of greater anonymity, and no physical touch involved. (Liberman & Schroeder, 2020). In-person interactions are multisensory experiences that online experiences cannot replicate (even VR). Kids need a balance of these interactions. More on this: https://www.newyorkbehavioralhealth.com/the-impact-of-social-media-use-on-social-skills/
- Gabrielli, J., Marsch, L., & Tanski, S. (2018). TECH parenting to promote effective media management. Pediatrics, 142(1).
- Kollins, S. H., DeLoss, D. J., Cañadas, E., Lutz, J., Findling, R. L., Keefe, R. S., ... & Faraone, S. V. (2020). A novel digital intervention for actively reducing severity of paediatric ADHD (STARS-ADHD): a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Digital Health, 2(4), e168-e178
- Lieberman, A., & Schroeder, J. (2020). Two social lives: How differences between online and offline interaction influence social outcomes. Current Opinion in Psychology, 31, 16-21.
- Ra, C. K., Cho, J., Stone, M. D., De La Cerda, J., Goldenson, N. I., Moroney, E., ... & Leventhal, A. M. (2018). Association of digital media use with subsequent symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among adolescents. Jama, 320(3), 255-263.
- Soares, P. S. M., de Oliveira, P. D., Wehrmeister, F. C., Menezes, A. M. B., & Gonçalves, H. (2021). Is Screen Time Throughout Adolescence Related to ADHD? Findings from 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study. Journal of Attention Disorders, 1087054721997555.
- Swing, E. L., Gentile, D. A., Anderson, C. A., & Walsh, D. A. (2010). Television and video game exposure and the development of attention problems. Pediatrics, 126(2), 214-221.
- Qiu, N., Ma, W., Fan, X., Zhang, Y., Li, Y., Yan, Y., ... & Yao, D. (2018). Rapid improvement in visual selective attention related to action video gaming experience. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 12, 47.