The effects of social media aren’t just contained to our kids alone. At XNPSY Blog, we have always focus on how we can make our kid’s better digital citizens; this time, we have expanded the horizon of our reach to everyone living in this age of constant connection.
According to Australian Psychological Society’s (APS) survey on Fear of Missing Out, adults spend around 2.1 hours per day, and kids spent 2.7 hours per day on their social media accounts. And not just that; 56 percent of teens reported that they are binge social media users, while 23 percent of adults reported that were heavy social media users.
It’s true that social media is captivating our kids’ lives more than ours, and that’s why as parents, we need to look into this real issue which is turning into an addiction.
Negative feelings and FOMO
Feeling like missing out on something couldn’t be positive; in fact, it’s actually brutally devastating for the person who goes through it. You feel alienated, deprived or overwhelmed, not being able to know what’s going around you.
This constant urge to know isn’t great for the mental tranquility of your child as they can hardly focus on their present moment when they are always worrying about missing out an event.
As a parent, this isn’t amusing to know that your kids have been fearing about something that doesn’t value anything in real. With FOMO, your kids spend more time in front of their gadgets, while staying on their heels all the time, fearing they would miss out something.
FOMO can take forms
The intensity of FOMO depends largely on the social network that your child is using. For instance, someone who is more active on Facebook would feel anxious about all the comments, posts, videos that others are posting, while for someone who is a Twitter user would only be fearing on missing out tweets. This doesn’t matter much though. What matters is to understand that FOMO is a real issue and you have to deal with it. Parents who dismiss their kids’ social media anxiety as a “silly” issue aren’t doing parenting right.
it’s necessary that you spend time to listen to your kids’ insecurities and take measures to deal with it. If you want to tackle this issue, it’s important you understand risks associated and take essentials measures afterward.
Strengthen their inner self
One of the most common reasons why children or adults are caught in the labyrinth of social FOMO is low self-esteem. Neglect is another reason amongst kids; they obsessively post on social media and then wait for people to “comment” and “like”. With proper support, you can always help hour child regain their lost self-esteem. You have to strengthen your child’s inner self and appreciate what they do. Tell them that they are doing great and their life is not miserable. You also have to tell them it’s not worth waiting for others to judge and comment and that sustaining social standing doesn’t count.
Work on building their offline world
Another reason why FOMO has turned into an obsessive issue is because our kids don’t have a great social life. Give your child reasons to get out of home in real world with people and friends. Give your child an excuse to put down their smartphones. Don’t just encourage your child to go out and have useless fun; instead, work on getting them valuable internship or any other activity that would improve their socializing in real life.
Even if you have a confident, bright child, social media is a spiral where anyone can get lost. By setting limits on their cell phone usage, you will be doing them a favor. Setting limits on your kids’ screen time should begin even before a child gets their first electronic device. Use a parental control app if you haven’t been able to minimize your child’s screen time.]
If you aren’t giving your children alternative entertainment plans, you are increasing their chances of resorting to social media. Honestly, it’s not easy to substitute vines, funny videos and photos with some other activity but if you try early, you can build their interest in family activities like gardening, or working on a project together. By taking your child’s interests into consideration, you can better devise a distraction plan.
Don’t pose cell phones as something evil
Even if you are using parental controls to moderate your kids’ cell phone use, it doesn’t guarantee an absolute damage control; they will still have access to social media somewhere during the day. Restrictions aren’t long terms plans, so you will have to work on something that will turn their phones into a source of creativity. Tell your kids how they can take beautiful pictures of nature and setup an Instagram account to display them. This way, they will be using social media to be creative rather than being judgmental and anxious all the time.
Help your child fall in love meditation
When a child feels lost, they will do things, unreasonably, without giving them a thought. Lack of concentration and focus is an issue that instigates FOMO in the first place.
Meditation can help your kids stay focused and more present-oriented. Inculcate the idea of living a peaceful life in your child where they can focus on one thing at a time. This way, your kids will start having a sense of gratefulness for people and things that they have.
It’s never too late to help your child move beyond FOMO. It can take time but it’s not something that your child can never let go. Use right tools and attitude to beat your child’s social media anxiety and bring them back to real world once again.
Have something to share with us? Let us know in the comments.