19 Sep Opinion: Study Shows Social Media Connected to Substance Abuse
A 2011 study from the Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse showed a correlation between teenagers who abuse drugs and alcohol, and those that use social media channels regularly (CASA,2011). According to the research the problem doesn’t reside with being a social media user, but more concerned with what the other teenagers are actually seeing on those social networks. This includes intoxication and other behaviors displaying illegal activity.
Many of us have seen and bare witness to similar instances, but have done nothing about it. What does this say about the culture revolving around drugs and alcohol from a peer’s and parent’s perspective? If you’re a parent what can you do about it?
Over the course of the teen years, there is a fine line between total lockdown and control over a teenagers life and the opposite which is complete freedom. In this next section lets reflect on a couple real world suggestions to helping your teen have healthy social media habits in the name of Recovery Month.
Teach Your Teen How to Respond to Illegal Social Media Activity
Facebook has a way to report images which are upsetting in any way called Social Reporting.
Show your teenager an example of something and why it upset you, then report it. With time your teen may be able to choose a healthier response and maybe even seek to help out the individual, instead of endorsing it.
Make Opportunities to Share Hobbies
Some of the best hobbies are timeless ones, which one would enjoy no matter the age. Take guitar lessons together or pick up mountain biking.
If your teen is less interested in outdoor hobbies, try building a gaming PC together. Name the budget, do some google searching, and in the end take away a valuable skill worth bragging to friends about.
Whenever you and your teen are enjoying the hobby together, document the whole thing on a blog, Pinterest, or Facebook Page. They’ll learn healthy social media habits that way and hopefully curb their negative use.
Teenagers deserve more credit for controlling themselves than they actually get. With some thought we can help teens stay safe from drugs and alcohol.
What do you think? Let us know what you do to keep your teen safe from the temptations of drugs and alcohol evident on social media.