Teens live in a social media world that most grown-ups know almost nothing about.
The social life of a teen is as virtual as it is physical.
“When you go digital, you’re basically amplifying yourself way out. And so the question is how much can you handle.” Dr. Gregory Dillon
On the one hand, by interacting with a larger audience, you might get more approval than you’re used to in the physical world. But, on the other hand, you also stand to be rejected on a much larger scale. And that can be awful.
They talked about four things.
FOMO: Fear of missing out
Communicating with texts removes all the visual and tone-of-voice clues, so it’s something to be really wary about.
Likes on Facebook and Instagram too easily become a measure of popularity. It’s exciting when you get them and painful when you don’t.
Achieving a balance
Dillon’s suggestion was to think of all online and offline activities as slices in a pie chart. Each has a place and caring about Likes is fine as long as it doesn’t overwhelm everything else you care about.
The teens’ thoughtful answers and self-awareness are encouraging. And there’s barely a moment in which the kids smiles’ aren’t communicating how much fun their online lives are.
Maybe they’re up to the challenge after all.
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