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8 Tips to Help Kids Break a Social Media Creeping Habit

Question: I never believed allowing my daughters to begin dating would be such an emotional rollercoaster — thanks to social media! I know if a relationship doesn’t end well for one of them, social media will only increase the heartache or, in some circumstances, the drama. It seems like their feelings go up or down depending on what they find on social media some day about “the guy.” I can’t tell you how many family tours have been ruined based on some text or post one of my daughters came across. Does anybody else deal with this? How can I help them stop this obsessive practice?
 ~ Frustrated Dad Questions me on my Page

Answer: Wow, having two daughters of dating age has got to be tough, you deserve a reward. We can understand, and you are not the only person. Thanks to social media, there’s no such thing as a simple break up anymore. Now a break-up comes with a custom that may involve regularly overanalyzing posts, tweets, captions, likes, new associations, and photos. The attraction for teens to check up on one another or “creep” is large. Technology, emotion, and hormones can resemble obsessive at times and may even lead to a technology addiction.

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Not justs about teens

To explain: It’s not only teens who crawl on other accounts for hours at a time. Many of adults have become masters at the sport of social creeping. For teens and adults alike, If you’ve ever tinkered in the excessive zone or watched someone else obsess, you know it can be emotionally and physically exhausting. And for all the hours of mining, the creeping seldom contributes to a positive return for the person digging.
The knowledge that extreme “checking” on another person’s online life is not healthy or fruitful is seldom an obstacle for someone who is determined. So what can you do to help your teenager (or even yourself) to ultimately quit this counter-productive hobby? 

8 Counter tips by Ethical Hackers Club

1. Logic: The person snooping knows it’s not healthy but likely hasn’t slowed down long enough to understand precisely how unhealthy. 
A: Ask your child how many hours a day, a week, a month, they check on “that” person’s account. They may be shocked. 
B: Have listed them anything they’ve discovered that has made them feel good about themselves or their relationship with the other person. It’s expected that list will be short if not empty. 
C: Gently ask: “To what end? What is the benefit of this? How does it make you feel?” Then be quiet and let them speak.

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2. Basic digital: housecleaning. Encourage your child (or your friend or yourself) to unfollow, delete phone numbers, or even block a person they 're trying to get apart from. This may create panic since in your teen’s world, doing this is affiliated to social ostracism and could extinguish (in their eyes) any expectation for a future reconciliation. Start small and set a goal. Ask your child to do this for two weeks. You might be astounded how your teen comes to his or her own results to break the habit for good.

3. Stay busy: If you keep touching a wound, it will never heal. And if you keep creeping, your heart will never cure. Imagine what we could do if we didn’t waste hours checking our phone each day. Praise your son or daughter to get a new hobby, try out for a new entertainment, or do something fun with family or friends instead of troll the Internet piecing posts together.

4. Don’t overcompensate: A heartbroken teen won’t notice it but a tough love parent or group of friends will. If your child begins subtweeting a lot, overposting fun, adventurous photos, or serial dating, it’s a sign that the healing process is off. Step in and respectfully and gently redirect your teen to limiting posting until his or her heart is stronger.

5. Get some tools: Any kind of filtering or blocking software will help your child, friend (or you) stop creeping or compulsively monitoring on others almost instantly. Many software programs also print out activity reports for liability (a parent, a friend, a spouse can help keep you on track in this area).

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6. Smartphone filtering: If you go into your settings on your iPhone or Android, you will be able to block specific websites from your phone. This is remarkably helpful. However, it’s also easy to get around with a passcode. So, if your child or friend is serious about changing his or her behavior, they will allow you to set the passcode for them. The “restrictions” passcode on your phone is different than your main security passcode.
7. PC filtering apps: If you are a tech savvy and understand basic code, you can block specific website via your PC network. However, if you are like most people, you need an easier solution such as a Google Chrome extension that will easily block addictive sites.

8. Unplug the temptation: If willpower, responsibility, filtering, and logic fails, encourage your child to unplug for certain hours a day. Turn the hours into a full day or two a week. This will likely involve you to physically take their phone while they are forced to attempt other activities.
These are tough times, and when you add the potential of social media into the mix, it can be overwhelming. Being a teen has never had so many disturbing parts or challenges. As with all habits, different solutions work with different people. Be flexible, try different things — but try. The condition will probably not heal itself. Understand your child’s temptation to seek information and respect his or her improvement process but keep an eye on the effect technology plays in that process. Lastly, be assured to seek professional help if you see signs of internet addiction in your child or someone you know. Trust your gut; you know when a behavior has evolved to something unhealthy.

Interested in more?  Follow me on Twitter (@Shivam_Gosavi) to hear insights and what is going on in cybersecurity.


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