By Marshall Smith, MFT-Intern
Many of us have done this. We are sitting in a waiting-room, riding the bus, relaxing outside, waiting for our food, or lying in bed and turn to an immediate source of distraction, social media! I would be lying if I were to say I am not guilty of doing the same thing from time-to-time and getting called out by my wife for not paying attention to her! While I try to do better, even therapists are human, and we make mistakes that necessitate us being called out by our significant others and family members.
That being said, even social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, as well as video games and cellphones, can become a go-to distraction for children, teenagers, and young adults. Specifically, many teenagers spend around nine hours a day engaging in video games, social media, or cellphone related activities. For parents, this takes precious time away from your young ones that often give way too many different emotions and thoughts on why your child is spending so much time glued to their phones or TVs.
While you may think your child or teenager has chosen to distance themselves from family interactions, calling out or bringing up your concerns or thoughts on your teen’s cellphone habits may be met with sighs, eye-rolling, or completely ignoring you and walking away. Most likely, these interactions occur more often than you prefer as you have desires for your children to live successful, happy lives, and arguing about cellphone use is not part of you nor your teen’s plan for life.
Though technology has its place in our lives, it should not strain relationships, promote or progress into addiction, or give you the feeling of losing your teen to technology. If you feel as though your child or teen may be spending too much time on their cellphones or video games and worry about the progression to video game addiction or fear of what they may uncover or be exposed to by excess use of cellphones and social media, reach out to me here at Dr. White and Associates. I have experience working with teens and media use. – Marshall Smith, MFT-Intern