Teen Depression – is the age of online to blame?

Before, I get into this topic, know that I am not a qualified expert on the field.  But, teen depression is most definitely rife, and exploring the possible reasons behind it, is a duty I feel I must partake in. And, of course, share with you.

Have you ever binge-watched a series before?

Sure, you have!

And, what did you feel like afterwards?  A wee bit sluggish and low?  A trifle “drunk” and not quite in control of yourself?  Your head feeling like you’ve been sleeping too long, and your eyes not so focused?

Well, take that feeling and multiply it by 10.  That’s how a younger person will feel after a marathon of online interacting.

As an adult, we can generally handle much more than our mini-mes’ and when a teen or tween is subjected (normally, willingly) to hours and hours of online stimulation, it can result in a less than healthy outcome.

As a teenager, the hormones are bopping up and down, and their mood swings are as bad as a woman during PMS.  Add to that an environment that leaves them feeling a little “off” and removed from reality, you will land up with a child that can feel a bit depressed and out of sorts.

The age of online – good or bad?

I realise that it is a part of our lives now, and is the way of the future, but can too much online time result in detrimental behaviour?

The kids, today, have so many stimulants, from Facebook to Snapchat, from online games to Apps, from YouTube videos to live chats on various platforms.

My thoughts on the matter are that, and I apply this to everything in life, everything in moderation.  It’s not to say that too much online exposure will lead to teen depression, but keeping an eye on this will definitely help keep it at bay.

But, what is enough?  And, what is too much?

Bill Gates has been heard saying that he didn’t allow his kids a smart phone till they were 14.  His reasoning behind this was that he felt that children should be able to ‘show restraint and understand the value of face-face communication’ before they get one.

That from the man who invented one of the most forward-thinking and innovative software yet.

That been said, every child is different, and every parent should decide at what age their little one should be exposed to the online world, and at what level.

Social Stress – Can it lead to teen depression?

Well, I for one, on occasion, and dependent on my mood, get a little down looking at the various posts on Facebook.  So, think about it.  If your teen is watching this all day, every day, on the many platforms, won’t that affect their mood?

Social Stress is real.  Because kids can communicate in ways that don’t require that face-to-face, they tend to be quite honest, brutally honest.  And, in ways that would shock you.  A sure-fire way for your child to head towards teen depression mode.

And, of course, when someone is tapping into this daily, there is a high chance they could be negatively affected.  This can lead to depression.  And, as mentioned, add to that all those bouncing hormones, you could land up with a very disturbed teen.

So, what is the solution?

teen depression

Limiting daily hour usage

This is a good place to start.  Research has shown that limiting the number of hours your child gets screen time, and screen time being anything with a screen (not just TV), is essential to a balanced life.

There are many apps out there that allow you to monitor the hours they spend online.  In addition, some will also give you parental control, as to what they are downloading too.

So, in ending, yes, teens are unpredictable at best, and of course moody, but knowing when moodiness has edged over into teen depression requires you to be actively present and involved with your kids.  And, why not use technology to monitor them?  They are, in the end, not adults yet, and need your guidance and overseeing eyes.