According to a study on Social Media Use and Adolescent Mental Health, teens who use social media more than five hours a day experience a significant increase in depressive systems as compared to teens who use social media between one to three hours daily. When gender is taken into account, the problem is worse for girls, who experience a 50% increase in depressive symptoms as compared to a 35% among boys.
Anxiety is also on the rise in these digital times, but, again, this is especially true for girls. For example, studies show that the number of girls who said they often felt nervous, worried or fearful skyrocketed 55% from 2009 to 2014. The comparable number for adolescent boys remained unchanged.
In order to help present tools to students and parents to manage a balanced and healthy online presence, on January 8, HNMCS welcomed digital intelligence expert and widely recognized educator Chris Vollum.
Mr. Vollum shared real-life examples that helped promote: Listening more, posting less, staying relevant, adding value and being respectful. He also led tailored digital intelligence workshops that explored the world of Snapchat, Instagram and other social media; mental health/anxiety; how to achieve screen time balance; and how to build a positive reputation online.
An evening parent workshop emphasized that parents must be engaged with the social apps and platforms their daughters use. Becoming proficient in the core platforms of Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube will help parents better support their children in navigating the benefits and risks of social apps and platforms.