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Fighting Social Media and Networking Addiction

Social media is the ultimate manifestation of free speech and communication with the world. In fact, it has gotten to a point where many who use social networking sites it live their whole life through the online world. It seems like if you don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account, you’re not from this world. As for children and teens, getting a life without social networking is like living in caves. A child or teen just can’t accept the idea that all her/his friends are Facebook users while she/he is not – it’s like a cake without the icing.


People these days, young or old, get a lot of their socialization from the web. Thus, communication with others is chiefly done in an interactive manner – meaning, there is a use of web based technology in correspondence. But unlike the usual communication we used to do, social networking sites encourage a rather perverted and abused form of freedom of speech and actions. For instance, you will see and read some of the most libelous and defamatory comments from users targeting mostly popular personalities like a President, an actor or artist, a politician, or anyone. One can accuse someone by using Twitter or Facebook and no one reacts. But try saying it to the face of the person and you will likely get a civil suit for libel or oral defamation. Gone are the days when one had to actually make a good argument and communicate it effectively and intelligently. These days, one can apparently strengthen their point of view by adding the f-word to their speech…a lot.


Our point here is that the addictive characteristic of modern social media has led to actions way beyond ethical and moral standards. Public scandals, breakups, obvious exploitation and abuse directed on the weak, fraud and deceit, and others are explicitly tolerated. In fact, spending an extreme amount of time online may even result in severe stress and depression, especially for children and teens. Though Facebook and Twitter are revolutionary communication tools that make the world smaller, the encouragement of violence and perversion is still overshadowing the advantage of the internet in general.


But then again, no one can escape it. No matter how hard you try not to use the internet, you will inevitably feel the necessity to access it. What is feasible now is  to fight off the temptation of social media addiction. By absorbing the tips below, you not only get control of yourself, you can also protect your children.


Focus on Limiting Use

Whatever is in excess is bad – a very common but often ignored notion. Just like any other pursuit that gives you a sort of unending search for satisfaction, social networking should be limited. By doing so, it means that you have to cut ties with sites like Twitter or even Facebook if you think you’re getting no substantial returns from spending the entire day on them. You can use them for a good cause like personal or business use, but focus yourself on understanding the consequences if you become totally hooked in it. Remember this: if you don’t want your child or teen to become addicted to social networking and lack proper socialization, you have to set an example.


Be Picky When It Comes to Online Friends

This is a very important skill you need to teach your kids. As we know, children and teens are the most vulnerable when it comes to online abuse and exploitation. Furthermore, criminals and offenders use Facebook and other popular social networking sites to find potential victims. So in order to prevent your child from eventually encountering predators online, you have to tell them to be pickier and more selective in choosing friends. There must be a kind of selection process. For example, the person should at least be a previous acquaintance or a distant relative.

The rationale behind this is that most of those who seek to abuse or exploit someone online are total strangers. Additionally, strangers are also those responsible for keeping you guessing and making you more curious about their personality or identity. Soon, it seems like the day isn’t complete without logging in and contacting these people you don‘t really know.


Proper Scheduling

Like we said previously, this article is not about turning your back against social media. This is simply a guide on how you can limit and use social networking in a justifiable and rational manner so as to avoid addiction.


Thus, with a proper schedule of internet use, you and your child can absolutely prevent social media addiction. Most people leave their accounts logged in for the entire day so that when they pass the computer, it becomes a lot easier to see updates and connect with anyone. But the main problem with this kind of routine is that it may become a major time consumer. Instead of doing other relevant things like finishing homework or performing chores, your kid is obsessed with the idea of always going online to be updated all the time.


In order to avoid this, you have to make a schedule emphasizing the actual time of the day when your child or teen is allowed to log in to social networking sites. Not only that, you must also set a timer so as to limit the access time. This means that you can perhaps allocate an hour or two for your kid to interact with people online and after that, he/she can proceed on doing other chores before getting the privilege to go online again. The practice becomes more like a reward system and eventually, children will realize that life isn’t really just about Facebook, there is more to it.

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