Facebook Addiction: When LOGOUT is the Hardest Button to Click

Does your teen’s life revolve around Facebook?  Does yours?

The Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen in Norway has found that Facebook addiction is real, and younger Facebook users, including teens, are the most susceptible to addiction.

Facebook addiction, like any addiction, has noticeably detrimental effects. It interferes with a person’s day-to-day life and causes him or her to neglect responsibilities. For your teen, this could mean that Facebook dependence could interfere with academic performance and have a negative impact on your child’s relationships with family members and friends. With some research linking excessive social media use to depression in teens, Facebook addiction could even take a toll on your teen’s mental health.

The researchers at the University of Bergen have developed a Facebook addiction scale that helps determine whether someone is unhealthily dependent on Facebook.

Here are some of the warning signs that could indicate that your teen is addicted to Facebook, according to their research:

1. Your teen spends an excessive amount of time on Facebook and plans his or her day around using the social media site.
2. Your son or daughter’s Facebook use has steadily increased since he or she began using the website.
3. Facebook seems to be a means of escaping from the pressures of everyday life for your teen.
4. When Facebook time is limited, your child becomes agitated and upset.
5. Homework and studying takes a backseat to Facebook, and your child’s grades suffer. His or her dreams of getting into an Ivy League college have fallen by the wayside. Facebook is now your teen’s top priority.

Since Facebook addiction is a relatively recent phenomenon, there isn’t much research that indicates how to treat it. Researchers have been aware of internet addiction, which is similar in many respects to Facebook addiction, for a while.

If you want to help treat your son or daughter’s Facebook addiction, you might want to try out some of these strategies, which are based on the findings of internet addiction researchers at the University of California, San Francisco:

1. Sit down with your teen and come up with a list of all of his or her favorite activities that aren’t related to Facebook. Take the list out whenever your child has some free time, and encourage him or her to take part in the activities on the list.
2. Set time limits for your teen’s internet use. If your teen’s only able to spend forty-five minutes on the computer each evening, it’ll be rather difficult for him or her to stay addicted to Facebook. If you try out this strategy, you can expect that your teen won’t be very happy at first. Just remember that you’re the parent, you’re in control, and you’re doing what’s best for your child.
3. Reward your teen for decreased Facebook use. Each week or month your child uses Facebook appropriately, reward him or her with a book, movie, mp3, trip to the museum, or other incentive. This will help encourage healthy internet habits and encourage interest in other forms of entertainment that are separate from Facebook.
4. If your teen’s Facebook addiction is particularly worrisome, consider therapy and medication options. Certain types of medication have worked wonders for people with internet addiction. Talk to your family doctor about treatment in the form of medication, and consider setting up an appointment for your teen to meet with a therapist.

Facebook addiction is a real problem. If you think your teen is dependent on Facebook, it’s your job to be proactive about it and nip the dependence in the bud. The life of a teenager should be exciting and full of opportunities. So, don’t let any sort of addiction hinder your child’s growth into a healthy and happy adult.

Contributor:  Nadia Jones is an education blogger for onlinecollege.org. She enjoys writing on topics of education reform, education news, and online learning platforms. Outside of the blogging world, Nadia volunteers her time at an after school program for a local middle school and plays pitcher for her adult softball team. She welcomes your comments and questions at nadia.jones5@gmail.com.

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Road to Recovery March 2012

You may know someone that needs the road to recovery, but unless they ask for directions it is likely they are not ready to get on the road.

Road to Recovery March 2012 is here!

We know that almost 1 in 10 Americans struggle with a substance abuse disorder and 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness.  Treatment and recovery are a pathway forward.

The National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) campaign offers help and hope not only for individuals receiving recovery services and in recovery but also for families, loved ones, and friends. The benefits of treatment and recovery-oriented services and supports in behavioral health ripple out across entire communities throughout our Nation, proving there are effective treatments and that people do recover.

As the Road to Recovery series kicks off its 12th season, this episode will highlight the many accomplishments of the 2011 Recovery Month campaign and look forward to a successful September 2012 Recovery Month.

Please visit http://www.recoverymonth.govfor more information.Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Troubled Teens – Parent’s at their Wit’s End!

Yes, your teen is making bad choices.

Yes, your teen is failing.

Yes, your teen is experimenting with drugs.

Yes, your teen is hanging out with less than desirable kids.

Yes, your teen may be having sex.

Yes, your teen is disrespectful.

Yes, your teen needs help!  They don’t need to be harmed!

If you feel you are at your wit’s end and have exhausted all your local resources – therapy isn’t working or your teen simply refuses to go, it may be time to start thinking about residential therapy.

This doesn’t mean you are a bad parent, quite the contrary, you are giving your teen a second opportunity at a bright future.

Need more information? Visit www.HelpYourTeens.com.

National Drug Facts Week: Help Stop Teen Drug Use

Shatter the Myths!

National Drug Facts Week is Monday, October 31st through Sunday, November 6th, 2011.

Why do people and teens smoke when they know it is bad for them?

Maybe they smoke because they can’t stop. People start smoking for different reasons,but most keep doing it because of one reason—they are addicted to nicotine.

DID YOU KNOW? Research says that teens who see a lot of smoking in movies are more likely to start smoking themselves. Sometimes characters smoke to look edgy and rebellious; but sometimes it’s justabout “product placement” — the tobacco industry trying to get into your head and your pockets.

Teen Drinking:

FACT:  More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become alcoholics.

Teen Prescription Drug Use:

FACT:  In 2007, prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

Want to learn more FACTS about teens and substance use?  Download Shatter the Myths.

Be an educated parent – you will have safer and healthier teens.

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Stop Medicine Abuse is Looking for the Next Five Mom: It Could be You!

Help Stop Teen Cough Medicine Abuse

Talking to teens about drug abuse is never easy. Did you know teens that learn about the dangers of drugs from their parents are 50 percent less likely to abuse drugs? As parents, we must work together to educate our teens and create awareness about the dangers of substance abuse, including over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine abuse.

In 2007, five moms from around the country were brought together to share information with other parents about the largely unknown trend among teens of abusing OTC cough medicines to get high. Since then, the Five Moms campaign has reached more than 24 million parents to help educate them about preventing teen cough medicine abuse, spreading awareness to parents, schools, and communities. And now they want your help! The campaign recently launched the Are You the Next Five Mom? search to look for a new Mom to join the fight against cough medicine abuse.

Are you a mom who is passionate about working with teens? Do you have experience working with teens and substance abuse? If you are interested in being a part of the Five Moms campaign, they are looking for someone who:

  • Has experience or a passion for working with teens;
  • Has past or previous involvement in teen programming or issues affecting teens;
  • Has experience working with teens and/or substance abuse;
  • Has raised awareness of cough medicine abuse in their community or is a community leader;
  • Works with teens on a daily or weekly basis a coach, teacher, guidance counselor, youth group leader, etc.;
  • Uses social media to reach parents and educate them about teen substance abuse;
  • Is involved with community organizations that center around pre-teens and teens;
  • Developed an original idea or event to educate others about cough medicine abuse; or
  • Has distributed Five Moms and/or cough medicine abuse information to their children, peers, community, etc.

For more information on how to enter the Are You the Next Five Mom? search, and for the official rules and regulations, visit FiveMoms.com. To learn more about over-the-counter medicine abuse, visit StopMedicineAbuse.org.

You can join them in Facebook and follow them on Twitter.