Young women find less and less satisfaction in everyday things. How do we help them?
According to a new study, adolescents and young people today find less happiness in the things of daily life than young women of ten years ago. And the reason is as obvious as expected. Technology and the rise of social networks have a great influence on the problem.
Charitable organization Girlguidingsurveyed nearly 2,000 young people on the happiness of girls, youth, and adolescents and then compared the results with a similar survey conducted 10 years ago. In the research they found that only a quarter of girls and young women between the ages of 7 and 21 would describe themselves as very happy. In 2009 that percentage amounted to 40 percent.
Additionally, 59% of girls and young women ages 11-21 said that social media is a leading cause of stress among girls in their age group, while 69% attributed test pressure as the main reason for stress.
Pressure from social media
In addition to Girlguiding’s investigation, another studysuggests that teens who are addicted to the screen are not happy. According toSan Diego State University, teenagers who spend a lot weatherin front of screen devices are less happy than those who invest time in activities such as sports, reading, and interacting face to face. The happiest teens use digital media for less than an hour a day. But after an hour of daily screen time, unhappiness steadily increases along with increasing screen time, according to theinvestigation.
Also, the pressure exerted by social networks is enormous. Young people areexposedconstantly to see ideals of beauty and success that are far from reality. Without going any further, my almost 6-year-old daughter suffers every time she watches videos of a child opening dozens of new toys in front of the camera, one behind the other. She loves them all and asks me why she can’t have all those toys together.
Jean Twenge, a psychologist and study author, said: ‘Although this study cannot show causality, several other studies have shown that more social media use leads to unhappiness, but unhappiness does not lead to more social media use. social”. According to the expert, children are growing up less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy and completely unprepared for adulthood.
Total abstinence from the screen is not the solution either, since our children are digital natives. It is about finding the balance so that life itself does not pass through an electronic device and so that they can have a real vision of things.
Unhappiness on the rise
According to BBCDr. Rangan Chatterjee has seen much evidence of the link between poor mental health in young people and their use of social media. The professional suggests that when faced with the symptoms of depression in his adolescent patients, he does not prescribe antidepressants, but recommends disconnecting from the screen for a few hours a day. And the improvement before this treatment is significant.
A 2017 study of the Royal Society of Public Healthasked 1,500 young people between the ages of 11 and 25 to track their moods while using the five most popular social networking sites. The result was that Snapchat and Instagram were the most likely to inspire feelings of frustration and anxiety. While YouTube had the most positive influence.
Help our teens and youth
Girlguiding CEO Amanda Medler says steps must be taken to better care for the mental health of girls and young women who regularly feel unhappy and stressed.
In the case of girls, from childhood they are exposed to stereotypesthat show you the way to success. As parents, we must be attentive to this in order to guide them in their choices. Keeping up-to-date and up-to-date on technology is the best way to take care of our daughters regarding the dangers of high exposure to social networks.
In general, you can help your children spend fewer hours in front of the screen so that they feel happier, with these tips:
Don’t offer the phone as a comfort:It is something that many parents do when their children are very young. If they get bored while waiting for the doctor and start climbing the chairs, the parents put on a video. If she throws a tantrum, she is given the phone right away. These attitudes only feed anegative behaviorfor the future adolescent of your daughter or son. In the car or in your bag, you can take story books or some toys to endure some waiting.
Reduce your screen time: It is essential so that it does not fall into the addictionof spending hours doing nothing else. You can set as a rule to leave mobile phones outside the dining room at dinner time, or turn off the wi fi at night, etc.
Use parental control apps: You can install on your phone or his, depending on the application, some programs Parental control that will allow you to know where your daughter or son is, who they are talking to and even limit the time in front of the screens.
Encourage him to play sports: To practice sportsor some discipline that he likes such as dance, languages or drawing, can help your child to get away from the screen for a few hours. In addition, social interaction is extremely important in the development of yourpersonality.
Invite your friend or friend to family vacations: It can be a good opportunityfor the adolescent to stay away from the mobile for a while. If your children spend the family vacation with a friend it will not only be an unforgettable experience, but they will probably be playing a game with a ball on the beach and leave their phones behind for a long time.
Teach him the importance of privacy settings:Talk to your children about privacy in general; You know how to do it. But also, you should alert him about theresponsible useof social networks and the importance of keeping their publications private, as well as the fact of not accepting any friend request. They must learn to be happy with real friendships and not just virtual friendships.
Technology in people’s daily lives is a fact. If we as adults make aresponsible use and moderate of it, we will be teaching our children to be happy with who they are, and with those around them. Always respecting their privacy, but also teaching them to take care of it, and showing the benefits and limits of using social networks. With our support and understanding, they will grow up happily and emotionally healthy.