Social Media Confusion

Social Media: Do we love it? Do we hate it? How, oh how is it affecting immature brains? And, really how is it affecting the fully matured ones? Let me acknowledge the obvious irony of discussing this issue via social media. That’s part of the confusion. We use it. We have come to need it.  It has great benefits, but there are negative consequences.  Here is what prompted me to write this…….

I recently began to blog and then joined Facebook for “business purposes” after years of swearing off the site. Once I joined, I danced around the peripheral of people’s pages, the newsfeed, and the posts for about a week and then I was hooked, and overwhelmed at the same time.  It felt like so much information coming in at one time, or so much to look at, or so much to do, I just didn’t know–confusion !%! So, getting to the point. I eventually opened an actual business page and accidentally did something that put me on what I am calling Facebook “probation”.  I  became restricted from liking, commenting, messaging, or adding friends for 30 days!?!  Then, I went into withdrawal–actual physical and emotional withdrawal. Nothing major, of course; but certainly noticeable. Then, I had more time to think (use my brain without electronics).

I have seen so many young clients in my practice who are saturated with social media and electronics. I have trouble keeping it all straight!  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, iPods, ipads, cell phones, emailing, texting, Xbox, Wii, Xbox live, Play Station, 3DS, Kindle Fire, Roku, laptops, and on and on. The immature brain is already impulsive and acts in a polarized manner. When you add in all of the aforementioned potential chaos, you get adolescents  who can become more addicted to wanting a quick fix, quick answer, or a quick high. Then, these young people become less creative, think less, and become reliant upon something outside of themselves for a solution to anything.  How can we begin to address this?

  • personal awareness
  • parental  awareness
  • parental limits
  • more face to face time with each other

November 3, 2011