|Using smart phones to look up Bible commentaries in chapel|
The "study" mentioned above is one carried out by British researchers who found that generally,
"The more teens engaged with social media and the more they were emotionally invested in site participation, the greater the risk for impaired sleep, poor self-esteem, depression and/or anxiety."
Of particular interest to parents, perhaps, is that student's risk factors rose considerably when they were using social media sites at night - no real surprise, since social media activity after bedtime would obviously compromise healthy sleep patterns.
Readers wanting to learn more can find the whole article here:
Constant Social Media Presence May Jeopardize Teens' Mental Health
As you might imagine, the use of media devices among students has produced a great deal of thinking and talking in education circles. Some schools, public and private, have tried to severely restrict or prohibit the use of such devices during the school day. Other schools, DPCA among them, have made the choice to include and even embrace the use of personal devices during the school day, believing that they are a settled fixture of our culture and that learning to use them well is now or should be part of a student's overall education.
Here are things we're working on at school that parents can help encourage:
- Use devices and your connections with others well: be edifying, uplifting, and encouraging in your posts and exchanges online.
- Use your devices as the powerful learning tools they can be: look things up, verify evidence and arguments, find out things, add to your understanding, seek for wise solutions to problems, verify what you find with multiple sources.
- Use your devices appropriately: Be on guard against unhealthy use of time, distractions, separation from face-to-face relationships and obligations, etc.
- Be on the same social media sites as your teens, and "follow" them as they post. Be part of their online world!
- Schedule your internet connection to go offline during the night on whatever schedule fits your family - but probably at least from midnight to early morning? That way there's no temptation to your teen to be logging on during his or her primary sleeping hours.
- Make the use of social media part of your conversation - if you don't know how, let your teen teach you. Talk about what healthy social media use looks like.
- Be mindful of our adult example: are we good stewards of time and social media use? As our kids watch us, are they seeing a good example of how to manage it well?