I do not know about you guys, but quarantine snacking is a REAL thing. Adding insult to injury, every time that I log in online, I see all the diet advice. How NOT to snack during lock down. What TO eat. What NOT to eat. What foods will keep us the healthiest. What foods to eat to protect us from COVID 19. The list is long, vast and never ending. Just. So. Much. Advice. And with so much attention to our quarantine diet...and my vastly growing waist line...it got me to thinking...what about our social media diet? What are we consuming there everyday? If eating right and working out is an incredibly small percentage of our day, and we are spending vast, copious amounts of time online right now...how is that diet effecting us? And more importantly how is it effecting our kids?
Most of us were told as kids that in order to be healthy, we must eat a certain number of servings from the top 5 food groups daily. This would ensure a strong, healthy body. Have you also heard that you become the top 5 people that you surround yourself with? Which begs the question...what(or who) are the top 5 social media platforms you are serving yourself everyday? What are your children serving themselves? This is such an important question. Now more than ever. Everyone has increased device time. It has become our outlet. If we are not working then we are using it to connect with loved ones or as an escape. And while we can be so incredibly thankful for this outlet...it does not come with a "consume all you want" without risk. Just as we monitor our diet to make sure we are feeding it healthy foods, monitoring our social media diet will help to ensure a healthy mind and body.
So how do we monitor the top five people we spend our time with...if it is through social media? How do we monitor our child? Most social media is search generated. Take a few minutes each week and do a random device check on your child's devices. If they have you tube, look at the search history. This will tell you where they are spending the most time. The same for the search history on their computers for online activity. Tik Tok and Instagram are also mostly search history generated. Look at what is popping up in their feed. Especially on Tik Tok. What videos are coming up for them to watch? On Insta look at the search area (click on the eye glass). This will also give you an idea of what your child/teen is searching and watching. If you are noticing inappropriate content, or content that you do not approve of, this is a time to have an open conversation with your child. Have a discussion about what they are viewing, how it makes them feel, and do they feel it is benefiting them in anyway? Not all content has to be informative to be beneficial. Watching silly videos that make your child belly laugh is incredibly beneficial right now. If you allow your child Tik Tok, doing a silly video with them right now might be beneficial for you both. But if we, or our children, allow negative, inappropriate information to filter into our days...for hours on end...this has far reaching consequences. If the top five platforms that your child is following are negative, do not be surprised when your child has a negative attitude. Currently there is a massive amount of frightening information online. It is hard for adults to disseminate what is true and what is false. Imagine how hard it is for our kids! Helping your child to steer from that and in the direction of positivity will greatly increase their mood, and decrease chances of depression, anxiety and confusion about some of the scary things that are going on in the world today. We can help them (and ourselves) by searching for positive platforms, things that make you laugh, places that get you excited about travel, activities to get excited about for the future, making plans or setting new goals then finding people online that have the same goals.
So much feels hard and weird and just not real right now. Using the outlets we have to bring joy into our lives is such a gift! We may have to look a bit harder to find the joy, but it is there. I promise. Helping your child, yourself, your family to do this...that is the best serving you can give everyone!