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Social Media and Mental Health In Kids

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2022 9:00 pm

Social Media and Mental Health In Kids

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 25, 2022 9:00 pm

The problem with social media and mental health is really affecting our kids, but what do we do about it? Author, Jonathan McKee, helps parents understand the connection and how to talk to kids about it.

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I think sometimes as parents we feel this pressure to block out all the bad stuff yeah sometimes walk up after my parents dropped the walk up to me the hemi advice and objects.

Show me how to stop all the bad stuff from being on this. This is my daughter's phone, but honestly it's like we get some time, so thinking we need the box come to confess. I think that's why messed up as a parent I think sometimes I was so worried about blocking out the lies where I should have been more concerned about telling the truth like you know been crucified with Christ.

Yeah, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me such a contrast to anything else of saying it's time we just look at me more likes our followers. Now here's a matters Christ in me. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship that matter most and will think I'm Dave Wilson and you can find or on our family life. This is family life today source by the lake family vacation. We got our three sons and their wives would get six grandkids is chaos just as little cottages that friends of us.

Let us borrow.

It's wonderful to have friends have cottages on the lake. So were hanging out and I pull out my phone, well to be honest, I had my phone in my hand the whole time. He could be a problem yeah you yeah I've heard this many times it's anyway I was actually looking at something for my two-year-old grandson Bryce to look at and it was a video and you pulled it out. I'm trying to sort of slighted over and he reaches over and closes the window. It's a little X on my phone I thought. He's barely 2 years old.

He knows how to control the screen shot by that so surprising you.

I think every time our son called us her face times with our grandson doesn't want to be in the phone until he'll hit the off button so that he can't talk anymore. He knows where that is. I cannot diagnose in there that moment I thought a two-year-old is adept at this thing almost to the level that I am and I thought, in two or three for five years, you might be asking him question I mean I mean did I just thought this is the world we live in. It's just sorta. It's wonderful in some sense because God is given us an amazing piece of technology, but it's also very scary and so is parents and now even as grandparents like how we navigate this digital world we live in. And so we got in the studio again with us today. Jonathan McKee, who you really committed and devoted your life formally as a youth pastor because he saw this all the time but now I can't believe a look across the studio and said I love you guys written over 25 books about this world shot you not even that old and I'm only 21 years amazing. I started writing when I was in the womb. It is interesting because I mean I'm just I am drawn to the topic is even as you talk about that. I think you know it's one of the things we as parents think is my kids know this technology better than me, so I think that's why a lot of purses hander yeah yeah screen because I think you know better than me.

What can I possibly teach you and really it's not the knowledge of the technology that's important it's the wisdom behind the decision-making on who they should connect with and how much time they should spend on this device and what effect it's having on them when they got a device in her pocket tells them exactly how popular or unpopular they are and are trying to measure up to what these little numbers on this device say that the conversations that most of us are at with our kids that we need to have with our kids, not about which button to push yeah yeah I wish we had a place we could go so that we could become screen was all you know your ear websites call becoming screen which is literally what were hoping because our kids are pretty screen wise again from 25 on up. We are often way behind the curve and so we had talked about couple books you've written your latest one parenting generation screen which again that's the generation right to live in a world of their generation screen guiding your kids to be wise in a digital world that's really written to parents right then teens guide to face-to-face connections and a screen screen world so you get a book for teenagers understand how to we have what were longing for face-to-face. When all we do is look at screens. So let's talk. I mean the world we live in is a different world than we grew up, but we are now parents and grandparents in this world and our kids get it so well, and as you've Artie said this screen world which is awesome can also affect self-esteem, social media, the world would live in and talk about that with our kids. What say that's one of the reasons that I cowrote this teens guide to face-to-face connections in the screen screen world.

The reason I wrote that book with my daughter Alyssa was because she had a lot to say on that. And she had, you know, grown up and I told him past shows where she happened to be born and 95 would put her right in high school and the shift to social media in your pocket was happening and because of that, she started to see that change in her friends and she started to see that pressure to measure up becoming a bigger thing because you know this is something that happened and then she went on to work at her college in admissions and she started her job was then to connect with high school. People that want to go to college so she's costly with these kids now as this young 20 something seeing this scene with her group.

Her 20 something friend Singh would teenagers and she a lot to say about it.

One of the things that probably came up more that because we rainstorms you talk, what would you talk on this book on things that came up more and more and more was how social media made us feel about ourselves. I'll give example, she tells a story in the book.

This experience she had where she went to this event with some friends. So here she is a young 20 something and they go. This fun beach event, and she had been looking forward to this day with her friends. Beautiful day there going down to San Diego and they're going to be at this beach volleyball event nearly playing and hanging out doing all this fun stuff together and she said the day was 1/4 hijacked by Instagram. She said instead of hanging out with each other and just talking. Everything she says.

My friends buried in their phones the entire day and she said instead of just enjoying the event the day was more about getting the perfect picture of the event and posting that picture right and awake know this one is and she has said the day literally was a good attachment as she describes how the day went out ended with her going home looking at her phone and thrown across the room and just bursting in the tears and it was that literally catalyzed her decision to actually take an Instagram fastens Jesus straight up is not bad.

It's not evil but for her it just constantly made her compare and she said comparisons the thief of joy and its fasting because it really brings up the subject.

It's a very real issue for teens today and we as parents are probably seeing it and that is how much does social media is affecting how they feel about themselves and if you know the world that we lived in that didn't really exist. You were around people at school your own people and maybe in the workplace. You sorta had the separation when you get in your car and drove away.

That sorta ended in him now.

Today a kid at school who may be feeling some pressure, peer pressure or even bullying. Or, you know, feeling less than doesn't get the separate I mean there's not like the bell rings.

I go home I got a deal with this again tomorrow and I walked back onto the playground or whatever it goes.

It's in their pocket then never get away all that drama, we felt it we are in high school.

Does this work before this age and it was there, but there was some safety when a bell rang, you know, there is safety. When you finally left soccer practice and you went home hopefully and you didn't have to face it, at least till the next morning at like 7:43 AM now when that bell rings at 230 in the afternoon we enter a whole different world war now the amount of friends we have is represented by a number how many followers we have, you know, it's represented right there by number. If you say something it's noteworthy are like one day I liked it as there is there's another little gel like that was you know or liked it was you know and that's a lot of pressure on young people and were seeing that, pressure effective CEO of Instagram tried something unique where you couldn't see the likes that people posted there and he want to try and a bunch of actually celebrities particular in the hip-hop world were like when I can even do Instagram anymore. If you take that away because I need to see how many we have an and so we got all kinds of flack for and it never end up going through but he had the time said I'm trying to relieve some and I'm this an exact quote I don't have an affront to me, but he basically said something like this is creating a very pressurized environment for young people and I'm trying to create some relief here. You know, and I wish they would because it's affecting the way young people feel about themselves and I'm in a go as far as to say, especially young girls talk about depression suicide because I talked to so many parents with teenage kids that are really struggling with anxiety, depression, suicide tendencies, is this attributing yet say that well you know it's funny because so many experts were scratching their heads and looking at some of these numbers, and in the past shows. We talked about how the uptick in some of these what comes anxiety, depression, suicide were seen that go yeah. Specifically, a report from the US Department of Health and Human Services revealed that suicide rates among Americans age 10 to 24 increased ready for this 56% between 2007 and 2017 United States technology goes 2007 is the year the iPhone was introduced by 2012 we crossed the 50% mark for having those things in our pockets. So by 2017. We now had Instagram and Snapchat in our back pockets statistically for five years now, so we really start to see it literally from 2012 as we really start to see those take off. Now there's a lot of debate. Some experts are saying hey watch screen time you watch a screen time on the screen in your pocket and there's so much debate that eight I got a throw respect out there for two researchers, Dr. Jean twinge and Dr. Jonathan hate so is my next you know Dr. Johnson hit because if we watch that Netflix documentary about screen time somebody's have seen that in the social and yeah, he was the one that was talking about self-esteem and those those number charts are going up as he was talking and that little girl who looked in the mere and what felt self-conscious about a part of her body and she started feeling it was amazing scene. He was the one talking or will he and Dr. Jean twinge was the author of I John the two of them were like okay obviously her so much research out there about screens and screen time. Let's find out what we all agree on. This is very fasting because basically, in short, you got all kinds of parents going hey I need to start watching how much time I kids are video gaming right my daughter spending so much time watching Netflix that she's watching entire seasons of shows in one day as if we don't ever say this is affecting us right and so these two researchers said let's see, is it affecting us and that the question asked so right is COBIT is happening. They literally concluded their data in the middle of 2020 and they put all the data got always researchers put their data and all these studies about screen time and social me and everything and basically said what we agree on. And this is fastening the researchers came to things that absolutely agree on the first thing they agree on was hands down. We are not unprecedented mental health crisis right now.

It's worse than it's ever been before.

That's one thing they all agreed on whether things that could agree on little what the Y will guess what the second thing they agreed on was this if you look at all of screen time and try to cast some blame. The evidence is really one week and inconsistent. But if you narrowed the study down to just social media, especially young girls. The data is consistent and very conclusive that the amount of social media time someone spends affects their mental health. Big time. As a matter fact, these researchers went on to ask you recommend parents pay attention to how much time they are spending on places online where they are eating likes and followers and are being rated by the things they do by their performance.

So think about this is isn't just Instagram and tick-tock.

This is if your kid wants a YouTube channel and all of a sudden they start doing Legos on YouTube are they start doing something on YouTube and immediately direct how many people follow me. How many people like me.

So, yes, even YouTube when ever someone is put themselves out there and being rated and being like they said limit that took just one or two hours a day. They went on to give specific recommendations of things you do. Fascinating study and in my chapter in parenting generation screen I talk about that and what can we do as parents because this is something we need to watch and live not is not the amount of time they spend streaming Netflix. Granted, there are studies out there that if your kid games. For example, 12 hours a day.

There can be some consequences to your kid doesn't go outside ease more likely to be obese. You know, more likely to have sleep problems a minute all cut stuff like that so not saying let your kid game as much they want there to say that when it comes to this mental health crisis, and people are trying to look for what's causing it, they narrow down on this social media is definitely affecting us, especially our daughter in you know your daughter mentions that in the book that she walks through a real struggle. Talk about that is a dead yeah you know it's funny how much I saw that and so I having a son and having two daughters I saw my son constantly being sucked in by gaming and I'm not saying that no girls games are girl gamers, but literally, when you look at the common sense media reports about the hours per day on average young boys average over an hour were young girls average, like 17 minutes a day or so my gummy is very small by comparison. You see gaming affecting young guys way more. You see, social media, drawing it and granite all kids love social media, but girls in particular seem to be sucked into a little bit more. They get caught up in the drama little bit more and really focus on the what I just posted this picture of my dog and saw Taylor was picture of her dog and she got 467 likes, but I only got 62 likes. Why did she get for Y and also she starts feeling bad about herself and when it comes down to and we both heard those stories, but all since you researchers say yeah this is affecting our daughters and we need to monitor how much time they're spending on social media because there feeling bad about themselves and for us as parents. Sometimes it means some simple helpful boundaries like no tech zones in the house no tech at the table. For example, having family dinner be a place where screens are not dad no screen out mom no screen out put it away. You need work to reach you during that half hour have that be a cherished time were. Guess what face-to-face connection is happening in the screen. The screen world were here just talking with each other. We need to start being proactive about creating some of these conversation moments in our home and teach our kids how to actually have a conversation that they don't need to be staring at that device. 24 seven to get any sort of gratification about who they are.

Love that you talked about how important that relationship is with our kids that were constantly having that dialogue, where we want to know them. We want them to know that so critical today and it's not happening as much because we are on our screens.

All of us including parents, will, and I think sometimes as parents we feel this pressure to block out all the bad stuff yeah parents will sometimes walk up after my parents worked up the walk up to me the hemi advice and be like, show me how to stop all the bad stuff from being on this.

This is my daughter's phone and expect me to nerd out and go okay so far as to go to the setting and then you take this and you bought up at you and honestly it's like we get some time. So thinking we need the box come to confess.

I think that's why messed up as a parent I think it's one of one of the many areas where I messed up is. I think sometimes I was so worried about blocking out the lies where I should have been more concerned about telling the truth. I think I should've been more focused on sharing the truth of their kids sometimes. As parents we feel so ill-equipped to have these conversations of our kids were like okay how can I tell them about all the stuff being bad, don't go there open of God's word during COBIT. I remember meeting with a bunch of families in the neighborhood and we start having covert church and it was by a pond outside because it was summer and it was by Barnes we call the barn church and for barn church we sit there, we'd social distance and put our lawn chairs out, and there's a beautiful breezy know we just started going through Scripture and and literally. I was kind of the minister there, so the light Johnson pillow talk, so I start doing these 10 minute talks and the kids loved it. 10 minute talk like I was also so I would do these timid talks and we start going to the Beatitudes you was interesting about this is work going through the Beatitudes and would like to went to Jesus teaching about how we don't need to be worried about status or money earning this but instead this kingdom living is this living where all of a sudden where were humble work, compassionate work and he starts, pain is different picture. It was interesting as kids were, listen to this in a go wow that's it. Different kind of teaching, which by the way it was couple thousand years ago was a different got a teaching to that's different. You and I don't have to worry about how popular I am. I don't have to worry about how much money I make funny because every song I'm listening to talks about how much money I make in how popular I am and they're making those connections in her head. I never had to say and by the way, the most recent SEATO song.

As you know, talks about there were thinking it because they were sinners seen the truth, and the more we tell our kids the truth, the more the recognize the line. I think that's really good. I'm thinking alike Beatitudes in Matthew five, three Blessed are the poor in spirit about the kid that feels rejected or they didn't get all the likes you known for theirs is the kingdom of heaven and that's what I think as we finish up this day for us to speak truth to our kids, their identity in Christ that he has made us together in our mother's womb. We are fearfully and wonderfully made to give our kids something bigger to live for to be looking at our culture and say how can we pray about this. I mean I think that's the power we can be so caught up in what we should do and what we should allow our kids to do, but we have so much power and influence, even with their kids, our team kids. They want to know, do we care do we hear them to receive them. Are we listening to them. We have way more power than we realize this, and I think you know is your title of your book says that these be done face-to-face again, no looking across the dinner table or a family room or if sit in your car with your son or daughter looking them in the speak in life rather than any of you could text it.

That's good but it's not as good as face-to-face and you can really make a difference will and when kids are here. In truth, like you know been crucified with Christ behind no longer live, but Christ lives in me such a contrast to anything else of saying it's time we just look at me more likes our followers.

Here's what matters. Christ in me. It is not unusual for teenagers to reach a point where they start to push away from us as parents. They are developing their independence they want to make their own decisions and call their own shots and his parents. It's easy for us to go well. I guess they got this on because I need to back off and I think what we been hearing this week is no. We need to stay engaged and even when they may be pushing back. We need to say I'm a walk through this with you, whether it's issues related to screens and digital life, or any issue. Your child is facing.

Jonathan McKee has written a helpful guide for us as parents to coach us on how to think about how we parent generation screen. It's called parenting generation screen for making this book available this week to any family like today listener who would like a copy. Just asking that you would make a donation to support the ongoing work of this ministry family like today exists to effectively develop godly marriages and families. We exist to provide you with the kind of practical biblical help and hope you're looking for in your marriage and your parenting and all of your relationships, your extended family relationships. We want Jesus to be at the center of that for you and we want to help you think through how to live out your faith in your relationships with other family members and the folks who make that possible, or listener just like you who say I believe in the mission. You have helped me and I want to help others when you make a donation online for when you call one 800 FL today to donate. That's where your money is going your helping us reach more people more often with biblical truth about marriage and family. You can donate or you can call one 800 FL today to donate again ask for your copy of parenting generation screen by Jonathan McKee when you donate and were happy to send it out to you. Let me also mention Jonathan has written a book for teens called the teams God to face-to-face connection in the screen to screen world to help them think through how they're going to navigate the digital world and maybe a good book for all of you to go through together again. Check that book out our and by the way, if you'd not been to our website recently. Let me encourage you to stop by and visit family life we have archives of thousands of past programs you can listen to on demand.

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We want our website to be a place where you can come regularly to find the answers to the questions you have about how you can build a strong, thriving marriage and family go to family like to learn more and anytime you have a question about a marriage or family related issue stop by our website. Use the search engine and go find articles past programs or resources we have available to help you with the issues you're facing in your marriage and family again. Our website is family life to now tomorrow working to hear your God story. I think all of us have our own God story how God is been a work in our lives, how he is shaped the circumstances and events of our lives here tomorrow from Beth Robinson and Latanya and Scott, and here are some remarkable ways that God has directed their lives.

I think you'll find this very interesting. I hope you can join us on behalf of our hosts Damon and Wilson. I'm Bob Lapine will see you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life to the use or production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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