Tackling the issue of isolation with smart use of tech
- Encourage teenage children to develop a healthy balance between screen time and face-to-face time doing activities with family and friends.
- Create moments of shared experiences that can be with or without tech, but always shared with others.
- Guide children to use tech in ways that supports their passions, helps them learn new skills and removes barriers to finding their voice, their identity and their community.
Managing expectations of social media ‘only’ friends
- Social media can provide meaningful networking where teenage children can connect with, comment on and discuss things with others, but your teenage children should avoid using social media ‘only’ as a substitute for real connections.
- Teenage children may believe that they are truly connected with everyone they have a social media ‘connection’ with, which may lead to feelings of loneliness and disconnection if those ‘connections’ do not respond in the same manner.
Being critical about what they see online
- Technology can expose teenage children to a vast world of vibrancy and energy where children can scroll feeds or watch videos of other teenage children doing innovative and exciting things
- Encourage teenage children to challenge what they see online to put it into perspective so that they understand that not everyone has a better, more exciting life.
- Help them build their self-esteem by identifying the positive aspects of their own realities.
Striking a balance between on and offline activities
Scrolling social media feeds, looking for likes or comments, checking emails can be a fun activity, but when those activities border on the obsessive, it might be helpful to change routines.
Suggest new ways for your teenage children to foster friendships offline so that they can engage in different activities and can get involved in diverse communities offline.
Using tech to give back and do good
Changing routines may help change their perspective. You may want to encourage children to explore the physical world around them, by volunteering for community activities or supporting a cause on or offline. Your teenage children may find like-minded peers with whom they have many things in common, both online and In-Real-Life, thus promoting a real sense of belonging.