That’s probably a million-dollar question why teens are so obsessed with checking their social media profiles. Well, honestly, there isn’t a simple answer to the question, but if you ask why they check their social networking profiles so frequently, we have a possible answer.
A decade ago, the world was an entirely different place—no social media websites like Facebook or Twitter, nor were their so many options to connect to the internet. But now, every individual owns a handheld device. After the onset of Facebook’s success, there was no stopping others from entering this widely diverse market of social network. People have whole heartedly embraced tons of other apps like Snapchat, Kik, Line, Viber, and lots of other dating apps like Down, Tinder, Grindr, etc. There is an app for everyone.
But are we winning with the aggrandising social media access? Well, maybe we are with Facebook’s growing network of small-scale businesses that it has helped to grow through cheap advertisement, but those who just recklessly surf through these websites, only have a minimum benefit to reap.
Back in 1980s, there wasn’t any such thing. Connecting with your friends wasn’t easy as you had to go their homes and call them out. There were permissions asked “mom I can go to play with Sean”, and if there wasn’t a yes, no one used to retaliate to the decisions of their parents. But now, it’s different. It’s “my life, my rules” kind of thing going on, and parents are just wondering where did this awful tagline came from. Does empowering oneself means going beyond those limitations and lines that are possibly good for you? Parents know if their children are old enough to do something or not. Parents can also be be over-protective and old-school, but unlike kids, they don’t whine, cry or make poor decisions.
This all could be attributed to social media where kids are allowed to exchange diverse range of conversations that they won’t be able to have otherwise. The today’s nature of social media is full of entertainers resorting to social media, and it’s really drawing attention of the users. Well, that’s just one reason why our kids are obsessed with social media. There are other reasons too, check them out:
Need for inclusion
No on wants to go through the feeling of left alone. It doesn’t feel great not to be invited to a party where everyone else was. Conformity is something that humans generally learn to have, but doing so forces you to acquiesce to the peer pressure. The desire to conform starts to build up in children in middle school.
The ‘bandwagon effect” that says “if everyone is doing it, then I have to do it too” is real phenomenon these days. And kids who do not interact with the real world a lot can easily become part of this bandwagon phenomenon.
Need for attention
We live in a world of celebrity-obsessed culture. With the advent of YouTube and reality TV shows, everyone feels that they could become famous without having any particular talent. Do you know that Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube? And do you remember the Chewbacca lady that became famous overnight? Well, they all are the produce of YouTube.
It’s common for teens to post anything that will get them likes, even if that requires them to post a “duck face” picture on their social networking accounts. If teens don’t get enough “likes”, they feel embarrassed and take down their post, because their post was probably “ignored”, or not interesting enough.
Need for affection
There is something more than just attention that your child want on social media i.e. affection. We live in a digital age where the term “affection” has been redefined. Now, it means getting a like or a comment on your photo or video that would make you feel better.
Who doesn’t like to hear to “Oh your are looking gorgeous” or “Your hair, I wish I had those too”, or anything else that gets you this virtual attention. It’s normal for people to like compliments, but for our teens, it’s downright addicting.
So as a parent, what can you do about this obsession of your child? How can you stop your child from thinking that only online reputation is what really matters. I must say, it all starts with parenting. If parents are able to inculcate a strong feeling of self-esteem and self-actualisation, kids can determine their self-worth, and they will have not ask others how valuable they are to them.
Set a precedent for your child
If you really want your child to stay away from the internet obsession, be their role model. Many kids believe that their parents are just as guilty of being addicted to their cell phones as they are. In order to set a precedent for your kids, it’s important you show it to your kids through your actions. Keep your cell phone away, especially when your kids are around. Talk to them about the real world and inspire them to live in it and not in their digital world.
Have something to share with us? Let us know in the comments.