Teen Stress Management Tip: Handling Social Media FOMO

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Is your teen active on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest?  Here is a stress management tip to help with the onslaught of tweets, status updates and flashing message alerts on the iPhones.  Your teen might fall prey to the digital age stressor known as, FOMO or fear of missing out.

With the instant messaging that occurs with your teenager’s friends sharing what they are doing right now it may create a sense of anxiety with your teen who is not there and is doing something else.  Questions she may raise include: What is she missing?  Should she drop everything and join the crowd?  Why wasn’t she invited?  Peer pressure is intense for today's teens.

When scrolling through the status updates that keep flooding her iPhone, she may worry that somehow she has made a wrong decision about how she is spending her time.  The impact of immediate messages leaves little “down time” for today’s teens.  The messages indicate what her friends are doing at that very moment.

The strategy for teens feeling the tug of FOMO is to devise a plan in concert with which your teen can place limits on the impact the technology devices have in their lives and also allow time to get a break from the constant communications.  Turn the phone off during certain times of the day, or at least, put it away so that the incoming flashing alerts do not continuously distract the teen from what she is currently engaged. 

Create a plan for the amount of involvement your teen will have each day on social media.  Better yet, help your teen begin to create an editorial strategy for what kinds of information and what kinds of replies she will post for her own safety and feeling of positive self-esteem.

When your teen experiences many streams of people having a good time, showing on their browsers and iPhone, the overall effect can be devastating.  This effect could cause your teen to post exaggerated events she experiences just to feel better about herself.  The difference is that these are not after-the-fact updates but current announcements of fun times.

This stress management tip for taking control of her involvement on social networking can have a far reaching impact on your teen’s future.  Learning how to manage her time and her decision making will be crucial for her future success.  Being able to take a walk without her iPhone is a start.  Learning to make plans without worrying about everyone’s reaction on Facebook is another step forward.  Having a serious strategy session with your teen to create a healthy relationship with the rapidly invasive technology can be a priceless stress management tip.

Understanding teen stress overload

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