Screen Time and Social Media
Considerations for Screen Time and Social Media Use
- Screen time and social media use can have a significant impact on youth’s mental health and wellness
- Social media use has been correlated with mental health disorders among teens
- Significant screen time and social media use interferes with other healthy practices and activities
- Oftentimes, screen time/social media use negatively impacts sleep schedule, physical activity levels, and development of social skills outside of a virtual world
- Set limits for daily screen time use
- The APA recommends no more than 2 hours a day of screen time for children over the age of 5
- Many devices have the option of setting a daily limit for your children’s device
- Screen time can impact sleep onset and sleep patterns, particularly when screens are used right before bedtime
- IF screen time is part of your child’s bedtime routine, it is beneficial to have a ‘buffer period’ of about 25-30 minutes between turning off the screen and attempting to fall asleep
- Provide supervision of screen time and social media use, especially for younger children
- Adults can model appropriate use
- Adults can set expectations such as not taking phones into the bedroom, not having electronics during meal times, and monitoring their own daily screen time
- Provide opportunities for other leisure activities
- Have open conversations about screen time and social media
- It is best for youth to get information about screen time, social media, or other topics that often come up in social media from safe adults rather than getting information from the internet or friends
- Remain calm and non-judgmental in conversations in order to keep open lines of communication
- Set clear boundaries about device use and follow through on expectations
What Else Can I Do?
If you would like assistance getting help for yourself or you would like to refer your child, student or friend for professional services, reach out to your school student services offices for additional support and information.
Great Rivers 2-1-1 offers free, confidential community information and referrals 24 hours/day. Dial 2-1-1 or (800) 362-8255 to talk to an information and referral specialist.