by Gina Greco
The Town of Webb School hosted Michael Nerney, a consultant on Substance Abuse Prevention and Education, for a recent community awareness talk centered on young adult issues.
He explained the stresses that teens can experience from their involvement in the social media world.
It is called “Facebook Depression” or “Social Media Anxiety,” he said.
Thirteen- to twenty-three-year-olds tend to experience the highest degrees of stress, according to Nerney.
He said the way they come across and their beliefs about how others perceive them is of concern.
“[They get] feeling bad when comparing themselves to others on social media,” he said.
Youths also feel pressured to present themselves in a certain way, according to Nerney.
All these pressures create significant sources of stress in teens, he said.
Consequently, “likes” are important when it comes to Facebook, according to Nerney.
He mentioned that there is a way to artificially bolster one’s popularity by buying “likes” on social media.
“It makes the kids feel more popular. If you don’t have the amount of ‘likes’ or the amount of comments, then it will create Facebook Depression,” Nerney said.
Lack of sleep can also contribute to depression or stress.
Nerney explained that there are different types of sleepers. Some may need more or less hours of sleep every night to function better the next day.
Eight hours of sleep a night is average, he said.
“Genetic short sleepers need seven or less hours of sleep; long sleepers need nine or more hours,” he said.
Teenagers tend to be short sleepers, according to Nerney.
Town of Webb Superin-tendent of Schools Rex Germer mentioned that newer technologies, namely smartphones, can contribute to a disruption of sleep with teens.
The day doesn’t end when it comes to social messaging and text messages, he said.
“Most of the time the phones, laptops, tablets are on,and they are on the nightstand. If they get a message, [the device] lights up, wakes them up,” he said.
It’s a lifestyle habit, when it comes to today’s teens.
“[They] like to make themselves available on social media twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.
Nerney suggested that parents keep the cell phone charging station in their own bedrooms, rather than the children’s.
“You’re going to have to fight them for that,” he said.
To be continued…