September 23, 2016

Social Media and Teens

Hello Everyone,

Recently I was featured in an article in the September/October issue of Social Work Today discussing the impact of social media use on teen's perceptions of self, incidences of depression, and presence of social anxiety.  I strongly believe that this is an important issue worth addressing with our teens, especially in light of the major life transitions they are facing.  Remember, some warning signs that your teen may be struggling with depression and anxiety include, but are not limited to: irritability, social withdrawal, loss in appetite, difficulty sleeping or too much sleep, loss in interest in activities that once provided a source of pleasure, and one I have found most telling, starting to talk of themselves (if they do at all because they are teens and are "big" on privacy) in a negative manner and/or comparing themselves to others as a predominant area of self-focus.  If your teen is not giving these signs overtly by speaking to you, observe any changes in behavior, particularly  increased attention being paid to physical appearance, reading materials, eating habits, changes in academic performance or pleasure activities, etc.  It is also not uncommon to find an increased fixation on using smart phones and social media sites, as in "being glued" to the device, being an indicator warranting further observation.  I hope you find something helpful in the article and I hope you enjoy reading it here.


Jonathan Rhoads


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