Brett.Ullman

Being A Teen Girl On Social Media Is Like Having A High-Pressure, Full-Time (Unpaid!) Job

So much information out there today how we have a really unbalanced relationship with our phones and social media. I am not saying we all need to get rid of these things but we all must reevaluate what we are doing.

If it sounds like a full-time job, that’s because it pretty much is — a gig they’ve aged into by virtue of becoming teenagers in the era of the smartphone. As the three friends laugh and chat with one another, their eyes are nearly always cast downward, glued to the devices held between their manicured fingers. The brands they are managing are their own. They post carefully curated updates and stylized pictures of themselves on various apps and platforms. They swipe left and right, opening and closing apps, gasping about the daily drama playing out on the glowing screen, and planning their next moves. They don’t consider it work — it’s more of a necessary pastime that’s become so routine, “it’s like breathing,” says Elina, who is 17. Often, they won’t even let sleep get in the way.

Such a great article

These teens are massively aware of their audience — and of exactly how tenuous their connection to their friends, on social media, can be. If you don’t comment when summoned, if you don’t click that heart when it’s expected of you, are you really being the best friend you can be? And if you’re not living up to the task, how can you expect your friends to be there for you the next time you take a chance and post something? It could mean getting publicly shut down or shut out. “FOMO, I think, for our generation, is a really big deal,” Yasmin says, using the acronym for “fear of missing out.” “Missing out for me, specifically, that’s just like the worst thing,” she says. “I’d rather sacrifice everything than not [be in the know]. . . . With family, they’re always there. With friends, it doesn’t feel that way.”

Love to hear ways you are controlling or managing your time on social media.

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brett ullman

Brett Ullman travels North America speaking to teens, young adults, leaders and parents on topics including sexuality, mental health, men, dating and media. Brett's seminars engage and challenge attendees to try and connect our ancient faith with our modern culture we live in. Participants are inspired to reflect on what we know, what we believe and how our faith ought to serve as the lens through which we view and engage tough conversations in our society today.

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