Devices provide students with many benefits, from connecting with peers to accessing educational resources. However, devices also create stress and anxiety for young people. While social media helps students connect to like-minded peers, it also creates stress and the fear of missing out. Also, social media brings real dangers, from cyberbullying and threats to grooming and predation. In a recent survey of teenagers, two thirds said they’d advise teens of the future to not use social media. Research shows that social media is a large part of the teen mental health crisis. And this crisis is significant: across all demographic groups, 70% of teenagers name anxiety and depression as major problems for themselves and their peers. How can schools help students manage social media stress and anxiety?
How Schools Can Help Students Manage Social Media Stress and Anxiety
According to a recent NPR report, schools can do much to help their students manage social media stress and anxiety. NPR’s Michaeleen Doucleff interviewed psychologists and other clinicians about this issue. Doucleff reports that most point to one group as providing the best advice for students: young adults themselves. Not only are young adults the experts when it comes to social media, Doucleff writes, they’ve also been more affected by social media than any other generation. And knowing exactly what one can face on social media is a part of the solution. According to Doucleff, “[m]any teens say they feel like social media apps control them instead of vice versa.” It’s important, then, for teens to regain control. Schools can teach the techniques Doucleff disucsses in her article, such as using interventions to reduce your time on apps and enriching your life outside of social media.
LearnSafe Can Help Students Manage Social Media Stress and Anxiety
As public as it is, social media is, at the same time, a very individual experience. Therefore, it may be difficult for administrators to gauge how much stress and anxiety students experience from social media. Screen monitoring software, like LearnSafe, can help schools detect their students’ stress levels. LearnSafe can also help students regain control of their emotional lives. Through a partnership with Vivensity, LearnSafe offers students access to their imSparked© program. imSparked©, a social and emotional learning program, helps students develop essential social, emotional, and coping skills. LearnSafe also offers a range of diagnostic therapy services to schools through other partners. These services include professional mental health screenings and tele-mental therapy services to help schools give students the help they need.