By Katie McKee
Social media. Screen time.
They are a part of our daily lives. Because so much of life now revolves around screens and social media, we thought it was a great time to address this dynamic and provide you with tips and tools to help navigate this sometimes tricky part of life. If you’re like me, you too get sucked down the rabbit hole of social media and screen time. Roughly 78-88% of people ages 18-49 use at least one form of social media. Chances are you know a youngster or have one yourself who has access to things like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, and can be glued to a screen with content at their fingertips. Schools even use screens as an educational tool nowadays. As of a 2015 study, teens are consuming media nearly 9 hours a day, and kids between ages 8-12 spend on average nearly 6 hours a day. I sometimes miss the days where social media, smartphones, and screens weren’t such a major part of daily life, but the fact is they’re here to stay, so it’s important for parents and coaches to understand the impacts they have, both positively and negatively.
Let’s look at some pros and cons:
CON: There’s a part of the brain called the frontal lobe, and one of its jobs is to decode social interactions. Too much time on screens can interfere with the development of the frontal lobe, therefore affecting one’s ability to read social cues, as well as how to act and react in social settings. Screens can also slow the development of language and creative thinking amongst younger users when overused.
CON: Social media can create comparisons and pressures that are unhealthy and unreal. Think about the basic premise of Instagram; post pictures, get likes. Pretty soon, one finds themselves posting
FALL 2019 AYSO.org