Statistics show that social media relieves short term anxiety but it only increases long term anxiety. Have you noticed that girls are more anxious today? Girls are also more vulnerable to bullying and peer pressure because it follows them home from school. I meet with girls that say things like, “If I don’t have 10 likes in the first 15 minutes, it means I’m not pretty enough and I take the photo down". The emphasis girls are placing on how many likes they get to determine their self-worth is daunting. The feedback they get causes them to alter what they share with the world. If they are not accepted they simply change who they are, when we want them to love who they are, focus on where they feel truly accepted and understand that social media is not a real representation of their social circle. The more girls put their false self out there the more they lose their sense of themselves. This can turn into anxiety and depression, but what we're really talking about is how girls FEEL about themselves. And self-esteem and self worth can’t be medicated. Let's not overlook what is underneath the symptoms.
It's not all bad news here, there is hope! Adolescence is a great time to get in touch with identity. Connect with your daughter about who she thinks she is. What does she stand for? What are your family values? Encourage conversation at home. Ask your daughter to make a pact with her friends not to take your phones or to put them away at a certain time each night. Ask your daughter to show you what she’s doing online. Get involved, watch and ask questions to learn what she’s seeing. Encourage conversation at home and in the car. Just talk and LISTEN. Go out to dinner and put the phones in the middle of the table - whoever picks up their phone first, pays!
Group meets weekly this summer, get your daughter signed up for fun, creative and supportive sessions with new friends. Feeling connected and valued builds self-esteem! We are all about that over here <3