So we’ve all been there…at the restaurant watching the couple sitting next to us, on their phones instead of interacting with one another. The person walking in front of us, on their phone, oblivious to what’s going on around them. Sending a text that cannot wait or reading an email that is so urgent it must be read while walking. I’m certainly guilty of that. The use of electronics has become a dominant force in our lives and social media sites have become nearly inescapable. New sites are popping up all the time: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Cyberdust, to name a few. Cell phones, iPads, iPods, computers, Kindle, and Xbox are common access points.
While we are all aware of the some of the negative effects of social media (bullying, health issues, etc), the social media landscape does have some prosocial benefits. Social media offers some good information about health and wellness. It offers a forum to learn and practice interpersonal relationship skills. When used correctly, social media can actually enhance connectedness, knowledge, and overall health. Media devices (for most teens it is the phone) have become a sort of lifeline to their friends and family.