Fact: Teenage girls spend upwards of 9 hours a day connected to their smart phones for entertainment purposes (more if you add time online for schoolwork).
I happen to believe that for many girls, that number is higher. Chances are your daughter sleeps way less than she lets on. Many girls head to school exhausted each day due to the nighttime hours spent on their phones.
A few years back, I had the pleasure of listening to Oprah speak in Vancouver, BC. Something she said stuck with me. “No matter who I interview, whether it’s Beyonce, or Barack Obama, they always ask the same question at the end… Did I do ok?”
Validation makes us feel good.
Teenage girls aren’t alone in wondering if they are good enough, attractive enough, liked enough…
Perhaps the scariest aspect of social media for girls is that they are able to receive this validation 24/7 online. Girls will post pictures of themselves and instantly start checking for feedback. If their picture isn’t getting an acceptable amount of attention, it will be deleted. Girls spend HOURS planning out their photo opportunities for any given day. Where I used to do what sounded like the most fun on any given weekend, girls are now planning their activities around the perfect Instagram shot that is sure to get likes.
I learn a ton about social media during my weekly chats with girls, but if I am totally honest, I struggle with a grown-up version of the same pressures they experience. Social media is addicting… and oftentimes leaves me comparing my life with that of one of my friends. Is she a better mother than me? A better wife? Surely, she has a nicer car. The advantage I have over many of my clients is I recognize this downward spiral almost as quickly as it starts and I log off and focus on the things that really matter. Teenage girls will admit that social media is running their lives but they simply don’t believe they can log off. There online world moves at at such a quick pace that they feel the constant need to keep up, or they fear they will be left behind.
It’s more important than ever to teach teenagers how to navigate their online worlds. If talking to your children about social media is overwhelming to you, I can help. Join me, and other parents, Thursday night from 5:30-7:00 at Anchor Society (21 Bellwether Way, #107) to learn more about the impacts of Social Media on our Teens.
And if you want to take real action, register your daughter for the PNW girls retreat in July. 5-days smart-phone free will give her a healthier perspective on Social Media.
Social Media Summit for Girls April 30th