What is a problematic use of social networks?

It becomes a problem when:

  • your child spends a lot of time on social networks
  • your teenager must absolutely and always see what is going on
  • she or he is nervous and upset about not being online
  • screens cause too many conflicts within the family
  • your teenager feels bad when offline
  • the screen becomes a way to escape, to find a refuge, to isolate oneself and to avoid reality
  • there is suffering.

How to react?

Do not underestimate what teenagers do. Your child’s social network world is very important to him, to her, to all teenagers.

Try to understand what your teenage child is doing online.

  • Do you use social networks?
  • What effect does it have on you? What do you get from it?
  • Do you take into account what others do? Do you post things? What things? How often?
  • When others post things, what effect does it have on you? Does it influence you? Do you always agree?
  • How do you introduce yourself? What do you say about your identity? What do you share with others?
  • Are online friends also friends in real life?
  • What do you have to do to get as many “likes” as possible? Are all these “likes” important?
  • On these social networks, almost everybody is beautiful and interesting. Do you perceive that? What impact does that have?

Why is it so important?

Try to understand why social networks are important for your son, for your daughter.

The others grant him a good image, they congratulate her. Your teenager gets a lot of likes. And you, parents, do you congratulate them?

Ask your teenager: Would you like a life like the ones you see in social networks? What do you say about yourself? Real things or not quite? Or things you would like to be real? Is your daughter happy with her life? Does your son wish he had another life? Is he jealous of others?

Social networks help your teenager forget about problems. How is your child doing, generally speaking? Is he well integrated? Does she have friends in real life? And at school, how are things going? How are things at home? How does he handle fights within the family?

Support your teenager, help him or her to find resources to overcome difficulties. If difficulties remain, find support from specialized professionals, for your teenager and for yourself.