The "Like" Documentary
3 Simple Steps to Managing Social Media
“When you pick up your phone, let it be for a reason… not because it’s just there.”
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I recently saw a screening of the documentary “LIKE” at my kid’s school, and I think it’s one every school should be showing — to parents and middle/high school students. So, if your school hasn’t already screened it for you and your kids, bring it to their attention. Or check out local screening lists to see if there is one near you.
One big take away? We need to teach our kids to self regulate and place some boundaries around social media.
Why? Well, 1/3 of this generation growing up with social media will experience anxiety and/or depression by 25 years of age.
It’s not new news that social media can make us feel bad, left out, not good enough, doubtful, etc., and yet why is it so hard to tell our kids “no” to social media or to even having their own phone (as early as 8 years old!)… because we are worried they are going to feel left out?
Think about it… We go on social media maybe when we’re bored or feeling lonely and want to connect only to see other people having a great time or seemingly doing something you wish you were doing, and we get off it feeling worse — even more alone. I’ve fallen prey to it too. It’s hard to shake off… and imagine for our kids, it’s even harder!
While social media is the “thing” today, It made me reflect what was my “thing” growing up. I wasn’t allowed to have a TV in my room (and forget cable, just channels 2–13), a phone in my room until I was 12 (and call waiting, forget it), or a pager (I really never understood that one). And all my friends knew not to call me after 8pm. Oh, and the family computer was in a public space - my dad’s office. So there was no real sneaking in any chat rooms - you remember the old dial up!
I remember feeling it wasn’t fair that my friends got all these things, and I didn’t. My parents were the worst. But were they?
Just like not having a TV in my room or phone for a while, it got me to focus on other things like school and extracurricular activities.
Did you know that kids perform better on school work when their phone is in a completely different room compared to just being turned off and in eye site in the room? It’s still a distraction if they can see it.
So, what are some easy initial tips we can give ourselves and our kids for managing social media use? Of course, now the obvious of keeping phones out of the room when doing school work. And, here are 3 more starters you can begin today… even if it’s only one for this month. Start somewhere. Let’s be the role models for our kids.
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Turn your notifications off
Did you know that your little notification red dots are red for a reason! It’s a trigger color that draws our attention. This is a real easy one to start with…
Basically, any app that has a notification generated by a machine, not actual people (like a text), TURN IT OFF.
Just go to Settings > Notifications > and turn off all banners, sounds, and badges. You know the ones… games, shopping, You Tube. The ones that make you look at your phone when it’s not someone trying to get ahold of you for a real important reason.
You don’t need that ding or buzz to draw your attention away from whatever you are doing in that moment… which is perhaps being in the moment with your kiddos. Turning these notifications off will be one less reason for you to look at your phone.
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Charge your device outside your bedroom
I know it’s hard if you use your phone as an alarm clock, but really think about getting a real alarm clock instead. I’m guilty of this one too.
Having your phone away from your sleep allows you to not only wake up without getting sucked into your phone before you even get out of bed (and be on time), but to go to bed without it too and wake up in the middle of the night without getting sucked in when you can’t sleep.
Rather… keep a good ole book on your bedside. I know reading (without a screen) definitely puts me right to sleep!
Be the role model. Make it a house rule. One of the first things kids are doing these days is waking up to their phones and seeing what’s happening or what they’ve missed out on, and then not feeling so great about themselves first thing in the morning. Not a great way to start the day…
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Set your phone down
Have you ever found yourself walking around carrying your phone whether it’s just around the house or out for a walk? It often feels like we “need” to have it on us at all times.
Next time, catch yourself with that phone in your hand and put it down — AWAY.
You’re likely to find how much you crave your phone when you don’t have it, but you will also probably find yourself being more in the moment and reflecting on different situations. We’ve seemed to have lost some of that human connection with ourselves and others.
Setting that phone down and re-connecting in a different way, the old way, helps shift perspective and perhaps start to be aware of things we seem to have lost appreciation for.
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Last but not least…
A few other boundaries that are nice to start as a family are:
no screens in the car
no screens at the dinner table
all devices away by 9pm
I’d love to hear some things you are doing in your home to help with screens and social media… let me know, and I can compile a list for everyone, so we can share ideas!
And if you’ve read my other posts on screens, you know it can effect bedtime and sleeping too! So, if you need some guidance there with your little one’s sleep, I’ve got ya! Go here to schedule a FREE 15-minute call with me, and we can chat about it!
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Oh, one more thing!
Every other week I share my newsletter — The Healthy Little Note — where you can get this directly in your in box plus other great curated content to help you and your little can get the most out of their first 5 years of life.
If you have little ones, I’m sure you’ll love it!
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