For those of you that regularly read this blog, my columns in the newsletter, or have been around when I have have shared my thoughts about smartphones and social media, you already know that I have very strong, negative feelings about the impact both are having on youth today. I have spent a lot of time reading research and talking to people who are a heck of a lot smarter than me about this topic, and nothing I have read or heard has changed my opinion. Smartphones and social media are corrupting our kids today, causing mental health issues, standing in the way of their learning, impacting how they develop relationships, and adding stress to already difficult lives.
In a study conducted by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for Public Health, some very interested findings were shared in their report regarding use of social media, particularly with Instagram, a very popular platform used by our students. I have included an article about this study from Time magazine. After reading it I would strongly encourage you to have a conversation with your child, and require that they give you access to their Instagram accounts. Yes, accounts plural, because most of our Instagram users at NFVHS have two, the one they refer to as their “regular” account, and their “spam” account where they post the “bad stuff.” Most of your kids are going to tell you they don’t have a spam account, but I am telling you they most likely do. Be persistent! Give this article a read.
Why Instagram Is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health