I had plenty of giggles on my face when I heard about the unique features and opportunities of social media. For example, if you are Catholic, you can go to an iPhone app, Confessions: A Roman Catholic App, and make contrition for your sins 24\7. Another article reported that there were social media users who made the ultimate sacrifice: giving up Facebook for Lent! Now there is evidence, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics who warn that Facebook can make “troubled tweens and teens feel more alone and inadequate” and be a contributor to depression. (http://bit.ly/icYVHV) They have even given a name to this condition, Facebook Depression! (http://bit.ly/fYxmEK)
So what is a parent to do? First, there’s probably no way to make your child abolish their participation of Facebook. You can, however, have a discussion with your children about being honest and realistic about their posts on Facebook and other social media sites. And finally, when parents can see examples of “cyberbullying”, they can bring this to the attention of their children and school officials and let them know that you think online bullying is the same as true school bullying. Now that we see bullying for what it is, it’s much harder to pretend it’s not a problem. Bottom line: Don’t be depressed about social media. It’s here to stay and the sooner that parents obtain a greater understanding of this method of interaction, the better they will be able to communicate with their children.