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social media and school performance

Social Media Addiction Associated with Poorer School Performance

Social Media Addiction Associated with Poorer School Performance 2560 1707 se_admin

Texting has become teenagers’ preferred form of communication. While only 39% use their cell phones for voice calls, teens text in class, at the dinner table, and when they’re supposed to be doing homework. Even when parents try to set limitations around cell phone use, teens find it hard to set boundaries with their personal devices even when they realize that it is becoming a problem. Social media addiction affects teens’ relationships, self-esteem, and even school performance. According to research published by the American Psychological Association, teenage girls who compulsively text are more likely than boys to do worse academically. 

What Makes Texting So Addictive?

“It appears that it is the compulsive nature of texting, rather than sheer frequency, that is problematic,” said lead researcher Kelly M. Lister-Landman, PhD, of Delaware County Community College. “Compulsive texting is more complex than frequency of texting. It involves trying and failing to cut back on texting, becoming defensive when challenged about the behavior, and feeling frustrated when one can’t do it.”

Researchers created a “compulsive texting scale,” which differentiated between whether a person reported compulsively texting or simply frequently texting with questions like, “Do you find yourself frustrated because you want to text but you have to wait?” and “Do you fear that life without texting would be boring and unhappy?”

This scale wanted to identify warning signs of social media addiction including:

  • Whether texting interfered with participants ability to complete tasks
  • How preoccupied they were with texting
  • Whether they tried to hide their texting behavior
  • How quickly they looked at notifications
  • Anxiety over separation from personal devices

Why Are Girls Particularly Vulnerable?

While girls compulsively text 20% more than boys, research suggests that girls don’t necessarily spend more time online, but they use the Internet for different reasons. Boys tend to use the Internet for information or playing games, while girls use it for social interaction and to nurture relationships. As girls place a higher value on their social status, they see their phone as a tool for staying socially connected, which makes it something they “can’t live without.” Girls are more likely to vent to their friends over text, which is more appealing than picking up the phone when emotional, but can also increase the urgency of responding to a text. Girls are also more likely to be part of group chats, where they may receive a higher number of notifications they feel pressured to check, even if the message isn’t directly for them.

These factors may contribute to how attached teen girls can become to their phones. While boys may recognize that they spend a lot of time mindlessly playing video games, girls are less likely to recognize that mindless scrolling through social media can have the same effect, as they can justify their social media addiction as catching up with friends. 

How Does Social Media Affect School Performance?

  • Fear of Missing Out on “important” notifications can distract teenage girls from other responsibilities, like concentrating in school and completing homework.
  • Procrastinating due to preoccupation with one’s phone can lead to higher levels of perceived stress, which interferes with academic performance.
  • Teens are more likely to feel bored in classrooms that don’t offer interactive activities.
  • Teens are more likely to compare themselves to their peers, which can affect how they feel about themselves and their ability to succeed.
  • Teens who struggle with social media addiction experience high levels of stimulation from screens, which affects their quality of sleep and energy levels. 

Residential treatment centers for girls help students learn strategies to challenge negative beliefs about their academic potential and to stay engaged in the classroom. Students have the opportunity to catch up on credits or get ahead in our accredited academic program while they learn to develop more effective communication skills and healthier relationships offline. 

Solstice East Can Help 

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at  828-484-9946 to learn more about how we create personalized treatment plans. 

body image in teen girls

The Effect of Social Media on Body Image in Teen Girls

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Teen girls report that social media has the biggest impact on how they feel about their bodies, rather than looking in the mirror, their health, or how their clothes fit. Social expectations override their confidence and intuition. Their friends have less input than influencers that they follow who dictate what their body should look like and how they should treat it. Research suggests that time spent on social networking sites is associated with body image issues and disordered eating in teen girls. 88% of girls say they compare themselves to images in the media and half claim that they feel negatively affected by this.

Origins of Low Selfie-Esteem

Teen girls are the biggest users of social media platforms as a way to communicate with others and cultivate an online identity. Whether they directly see comments about their appearance, they form ideas about their ideal body and feel pressure to eat healthier. While a healthy diet is associated with better physical health, many teen girls take nutrition guidelines to the extreme, which assigns shame and guilt to certain foods that can be enjoyed in moderation. Studies show that girls who share more photos online and use photoshop to edit their pictures feel worse about their appearance and exhibit greater eating concerns, which can include restricting their intake, removing certain food groups, or overeating to cope with negative body image and low self esteem. The relationship between body image in teen girls and self esteem suggests that building confidence leads to reduced anxiety and depression, rather than changing what you eat. 

How to Help Your Daughter Improve her Body Image

Teach her that positive body image in teen girls is related to your mindset and relationship with yourself rather than the way you look.

This can take a lifetime of unlearning, especially as teen girls today are exposed to negative body messages at a younger age than older generations. However, it is not as black and white as it sounds. There is no such thing as a good body or a bad body but there is a difference between feeling good about yourself and feeling bad about yourself. Self esteem is often influenced by body image but it is also influenced by pride in your accomplishments and close connections with friends. 

Encourage her to follow body-positive accounts social media.

It’s no secret that most images of women in mainstream media have been photoshopped, often beyond recognition. Girls are more likely to compare their own appearance negatively with distant peers and celebrities. However, not all social media use is associated with body dissatisfaction. There is a growing community of people who are using their platform to talk about relationships with their body, body trust, and self-love. Exposure to positive body messages influences their mindset about their self-worth.

Role model intuitive eating and a healthy relationship with food.

As a parent of a teen girl, you are no longer responsible for controlling her diet and providing her with adequate nutrition. She may start to eat with friends or ask to prepare her own meals and have more control over what she eats. Spending time with other people while eating may feel overwhelming for her, but it redirects her preoccupation with food to enjoying the social experience. Your daughter is also influenced by comments you make about your body and the food you choose to eat, whether or not it is directed towards her. 

Introduce her to fun physical activities that help her become more aware of her body’s needs and encourage her to appreciate what her body can do.

Many girls who struggle with body image tend to over-exercise and experience a loss of pleasure from working out. Rather than focusing on weight loss and perfection, activities like hiking, yoga, swimming, and self-defense empower can empower her to rediscover joy and inner strength associated with movement. Healthier lifestyles have a significant effect on reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress. Additionally, the more time she spends outdoors, the less time she spends scrolling through social media. 

Solstice East Can Help 

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with low self esteem and process addictions, including disordered eating and social media addiction.  This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. 

For more information about social media and body image issues, contact us at (855) 672-7058.

We can help your family today!

android-applications-apps

Logged In: How Does Smartphone Addiction in Teens Begin?

Logged In: How Does Smartphone Addiction in Teens Begin? 5472 3648 se_admin

There was a time not long ago that even most adults didn’t have a cellular phone, but at this point that may as well be ancient history. These days, most adults and teenagers own cell phones, and we are often buried in them for hours every day, getting news, playing games, texting, and keeping up on social media.

Teenagers have especially become hooked on cell phones, and we need to be careful to make sure that they don’t become addicted to their digital devices. Research has shown that the beginning signs of smartphone addiction are similar to those of opioid addiction. And while smartphones are far safer than opioids, this is still concerning in that it can lead to dangerous behavioral problems and suggest further problems down the line. So why do teens get addicted to their phones, and what can we do to help?

Anxiety, Loneliness, and Depression

A study at San Francisco State found that the most frequent phone users also reported the highest levels of anxiety, loneliness, and depression. As digital communication has been used more and more often to replace human contact and interaction, people have become isolated from another and suffer from the inability to read body language and experience the company of another person. This can lead to high levels of loneliness and in turn depression. The constant multi-tasking on cell phones also keeps us overstimulated, meaning that we may begin to suffer from anxiety.

Social Media

Social Media has become a major influencer not only in ads and marketing, but also in the lives of young people. There is pressure to stay constantly connected with friends and to continually update their feeds and photos in order to fit in. While it can be a fun way to connect, it can also be dangerously addicting and lead to the aforementioned symptoms of loneliness and depression. Feeling of jealousy and loneliness can arise from overuse of social media as teenagers may think they are being left out of live events or feel inferior to others based on posts and photos.

How to Curb Digital Addiction

Many people don’t realize that they are addicted to their phones because it is so common for everyone else to be using them as well. However, if you notice that you can’t go a certain amount of time without checking social media or feeling if your phone is vibrating, there is a good chance that you are at least slightly addicted. One way to help your addiction is to pick a few hours every day that you put your phone away from you, unable to be touched or heard. You can also turn off push notifications so that you aren’t constantly being reminded of social media happenings. Instead of texting all the time, pick up the phone and actually call somebody. You’ll be able to have a conversation and won’t have the same distractions that come with staring at your cell phone the whole time.

Solstice East Can Help

If you feel that you or someone you know is suffering from smartphone addiction or exhibiting other addictive behaviors, visit Solstice East for help. Check out our website at https://solticeeast.com for more information.  

social media and depression

Don’t Let Social Media Get Your Daughter Down: Social Media and Depression in Teens

Don’t Let Social Media Get Your Daughter Down: Social Media and Depression in Teens 640 426 se_admin

Depression is an all too common problem among today’s teens. The National Institute of Mental Health reports, in fact, that between 10-15% of teen-agers suffer symptoms of teen depression; and, furthermore, that 17.3% of teens that suffered a depressive episode in 2014 were female.

It may come as less of a surprise that social media usage is a surefire trigger of depression in teen girls. And if you ever have observed your daughter’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram sessions, you may see why.

You may hear your daughter lament the fact that her best friend has just posted some glamorous prom photos that put her own to shame; or marvel at how her favorite celeb is painfully slender and always wears the poshest clothes. And you may sense that, behind her derisive laughter and frequent eyerolls, she may be experiencing some genuine feelings of sadness, envy, and insecurity.

Steps to avoiding issues with social media

With a few simple steps, though, you can help your beloved daughter navigate the murky waters of today’s social media; and in the process, help to battle the problem of depression in teen girls.

  1. Introduce her to the concept of smoke and mirrors. Inform your teen that the vast majority of celebrity photos are professionally staged; employing soft focus camera lenses, pro lighting, airbrushing and touch ups, and advanced hair and makeup services to achieve flawless results.
  2. Remind her that most folks present their best faces on Facebook—and, for that matter, on all social media platforms. Her friends likely put a great deal of prep work into their ‘impromptu’ selfies, sometimes spending an hour or more on hair, makeup and clothes.
  3. Remind her that people in general post only the best and most positive facets of their everyday life across their social media pages. They may post photos of their romantic dates with their boyfriends, for examples, but never shots of the heated arguments they’d had the day beforehand. If their lives appear too perfect to be rea;, then most likely they are.
  4. Invite her to step away from the computer. Make sure that your daughter is in attendance at regular family meal times and outings, and that she doesn’t bring her phone with her. Make sure that she leads a balanced life, one filled with academic and social pursuits in addition to any and all online activities.
  5. Remind your daughter on a regular basis that she herself is brilliant, beautiful and magnificent—and that she need not be envious of anyone!

Solstice East can help

Solstice East ranks among the leading residential treatment centers for adolescent girls in the nation, helping those who deal with depression in teen girls and other issues; striving to empower teenage women to believe in and empower themselves. For more information, call 855-672-7058.

smartphone addiction

Smartphone Addiction: The Issue We Need to Be Discussing

Smartphone Addiction: The Issue We Need to Be Discussing 1280 853 se_admin

For the sake of our children, we need to talk about smartphones. There’s one in practically every teen’s pocket. According to surveys, around 75 percent of teens own or have access to a smartphone. So, why is this a big deal? Smartphone addiction.

I know it sounds ridiculous–how could you possibly become addicted to a technological device? Well, it’s not so much the device than what it does. It gives us a level of connectivity and media exposure that’s unprecedented. While this obviously has many benefits, the damages are becoming clearer each day.

Smartphones have changed the way teens communicate with not just their peers, but the world. They now have access to hordes of unfiltered information and many parents let their teens use it without any supervision or constraints. Therein lies the problem.   

Unfettered access is leading to serious issues

During adolescence, we shape our self-identity. It’s one of the most essential and most vulnerable moments of our lives. What we form in adolescence is difficult to completely change in adulthood–and smartphones may be affecting this process negatively.

Young girls especially struggle with it. For example, a teen girl may feel compelled to constantly scroll through her Instagram feed, comparing herself to her peers or celebrities. Not only should she not compare herself, but the content she compares herself to is doctored.

Social media provides a platform to post your “perfect” self and it often becomes unhealthy. The “perfect” life with a “perfect” body, “perfect” house, and “perfect” family simply does not exist. Yet young girls are becoming obsessed with it.

They become entranced with what they’re lacking and where, leading to low self-esteem and self-worth. A smartphone addiction can easily be born out of this type of compulsion. Many parents just allow complete access without any rules around it–this is a mistake. 

Is smartphone addiction a real threat?

Absolutely. Addiction comes in many forms–drugs aren’t the only thing you can become addicted to. You can become addicted to behaviors; smartphone addiction is in this category.

Studies have linked it to the dopamine release we get when someone “likes” a photo or shares something we posted. This release is similar to when gamblers win money–and gambling can most certainly be an addiction.

Some researchers even believe that the recent spike in depression among youth and smartphone use are related. Depression rates have increased by 60 percent in young people in 6 years–that’s an almost unmatched increase.

Smartphone use obviously poses a risk, though we may not hold all the answers to why and how. Move forward with caution. If you’re struggling with your daughter’s tech use, put some usage rules in motion. Doing nothing is what will lead to serious problems.

Solstice East is here to help your daughter

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our students struggle with anxiety, depression, smartphone addiction, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

For more information about how we treat smartphone addiction at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

Social Media Addiction: Study Discovers Instagram Causes Most Harm

Social Media Addiction: Study Discovers Instagram Causes Most Harm se_admin

Social media addiction–it sounds far out, something out of a science fiction novel, but it’s not. Social media addictions are becoming a clearer and more common reality than ever expected. Parents may have to begin questioning the amount of freedom and unsupervised use their children have with social media.

A recent study looked into the different social media platforms and their effects on the brain–and distressingly enough, one of the most popular ones was found to be the most harmful.

Popular social media platform is the most harmful

A new study conducted by RSPH and the Young Health Movement looked into the positive and negative effects social media has on young people. #StatusOfMind, the name of the study, discovered that Instagram topped the list as being the most harmful to young people’s mental health. YouTube, on the other hand, was the most positive.

The study looked at nearly 1,500 youth, ages 14 to 24. It examined social media’s effects on issues such as anxiety, depression, social media addiction, body image, and self-identity.

The results are distressing because Instagram has over 700 million users worldwide. It’s one of the most popular platforms for young people today–and know we know it has negative effects, especially for young girls.

This is because the app is based on photos and those photos are mostly altered in unrealistic ways. It’s an app that’s driven by the approval of others on photos that usually don’t even depict reality. Young girls often compare themselves to these photos even though they’re not realistic. This can cause serious mental health setbacks.

While the researchers agree that it’s not realistic to “ban” filters or photoshop, they are pushing for these platforms to step up and work out a way to let people know an image isn’t showing reality. This would allow young people to see that they’re comparing themselves to something that’s no more real than a fairytale.

It’s been shown that teens can become attached and obsessed with social media in extremely unhealthy ways–like social media addiction. As long as society continues to ignore the negative effects social media can cause, nothing will change. We need to teach our children how to use social media in healthy, positive ways that help them connect with others–not degrade their sense of self-worth.

If you believe your daughter is struggling with social media addiction or another mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.

Solstice East is here for your family

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our students often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, social media addiction, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

For more information about how we treat social media addiction at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

‘Finsta’: A New Way to Mask Social Media Addiction

‘Finsta’: A New Way to Mask Social Media Addiction se_admin

Social media addiction–if you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard or read about this somewhere. The condition helps explain why so many kids are glued to their phones nowadays. It seems as if they’re more interested in what’s going on in the digital world than what’s right in front of them.

Some parents have made it a rule that in order for their teen to use social media, they have to be a follower or friend so they can at least see what they’re doing on social media. This has led to the creation of the Finsta, though.

What is a ‘finsta’?

A Finsta is a fake instagram account–which is ironic, because it shows the real side of what a teen is doing and feeling. On their “normal” instagram account (the one you follow), it may look like they only post once or twice a week and those posts may portray the typical, happy teenage girl–but on their Finsta it may be a totally different story.

On their Finsta, they’re free to post whatever they want without supervision. Often these accounts either have only a few close friends following or many, many strangers. Many teens have reported that they post much more often on their Finsta, along with much more risque photos.

How does a ‘finsta’ play into social media addiction?

Essentially, every blockade that a parent puts up, a teen will find a way around–if you’re a parent of a teen, you know this all too well. While some teens may be using a Finsta to post silly photos they want to share with just their close friends, others are misusing it.

Social media addiction is defined by using social media in an unhealthy way. When it becomes a harmful habit to your daily life, future, and relationships, it’s a problem. Finsta accounts are often broadly open to cyberbullying, but they’re outside of the parental view, making them more dangerous.

Teens having issues with social media addiction struggle to stop using social media even when they want to. The notifications are too tempting to resist and they end up giving in–whether the comments are negative or not. This unfettered access to social media can cause a real issue in individuals who rely on it too heavily.

If you believe your daughter may have a serious mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for guidance.

Solstice East is here for your family

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of troubled girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, social media addiction, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.

For more information about how we help with social media addiction at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.