1. Social media was not designed for children.
A tween’s underdeveloped frontal cortex can’t manage the distraction nor the temptations that come with social media use.
2. You can not teach the maturity that social media requires.
I hear parents say that they want to teach their child to use social media appropriately, but their midbrains are not developed yet. Like trying to make clothes fit that are way too big, children will use social media inappropriately until they are older and it fits them better.
3. Social media is an entertainment technology.
It does not make your child smarter or more prepared for real life or a future job.
4. It is not necessary for healthy social development.
It is entertainment attached to a marketing platform extracting personal information and preferences from your child, not to mention hours of their time and attention.
5. A tween’s “more is better” mentality is a dangerous match for social media.
Social media encourages them to overdo their friend connections like they tend to overdo other things in their lives. Does anyone have thousands of friends?
6. Social media is an addictive form of screen entertainment.
Like video game addiction, early use can set up future addiction patterns and habits.
7. Social media replaces learning the hard social “work” necessary for success.
The use of social media greatly lessens opportunities requiring children to practice dealing face-to-face with their peers, a skill they need to master to be successful in real life.
8. Social media can cause teens to lose connection with family.
They view “friends” as their foundation and since the brain is still being formed, they need healthy family attachment more than with their peers. It is just as important now as when they were preschoolers.
9. Social media use represents lost potential for teens.
The teen’s brain development is operating at peak performance for learning new things. Studies show that it is nearly impossible for them to balance it all and teens waste too much time and too much of their brain in a digital world.
10. Do any of us wish we had started earlier?
**This story originally appeared on PsychologyToday.com.