Mediamonster: Is it Contributing to Teen Issues?
Years ago, there was some separation between politics, current events and the lives of teenagers. This isn’t to say that teens taking an active interest in the world is a bad thing. Some kids have always done that, finding their voices by running for office within their own schools or preparing to go into careers in politics after finishing college.
These proactive young folks will be the voice of a new generation, which is beautiful. However, in the age of social media, these societal issues have become impossible to escape. Unless a teen is willing to unplug and completely tune out, the constant negative energy can become overwhelming.
Finding the Balance: Caring About the World and Avoiding the Mediamonster
The mediamonster, also known as the negative chatter from the mainstream world, can destroy a teen’s ability to be a kid. At the same time, we want to encourage our kids to take an active role in society. How can we find the balance?
Most teen issues are limited to their personal social circles, but with so much drama and hate circulating on social media, some teens are becoming anxious or even frightened about the future. With the political landscape filled with uncertainty and threats of nuclear war on the news, it’s natural for a kid to wonder about her future in such a world. This type of ongoing anxiety can lead to serious issues, such as depression or even eating disorders. A struggling teen will try all sorts of things to feel in control.
Comfort for Young Minds: A Parent’s Role in the Process
As a parent, you can help your child avoid these teen issues by:
- Discussing current events and pointing out the positive aspects of any situation.
- Demonstrating the ability to focus on what can be done versus submitting to feelings of helplessness.
- Being a force of kindness and change within your local community.
- Refusing to engage in negative thinking yourself.
- Planning days where the entire family unplugs and takes part in activities that will take everyone’s mind off of things, such as going for a hike or hosting a neighborhood ball game.