• Residential Treatment Program for Teens 14-17

Technology Use

my daughter is addicted to instagram

Is Your Daughter’s Addiction to Instagram Likes Affecting Her Ability to Feel Well-Liked?

Is Your Daughter’s Addiction to Instagram Likes Affecting Her Ability to Feel Well-Liked? 6000 4000 srtc_admin

Instagram just proposed that they would start hiding likes from other viewers in an attempt to empower users to use it as a platform of self-expression rather than self-comparison. Younger generations are more drawn to social media apps like Instagram where they can interact with celebrities, businesses, and influencers than websites like Facebook, where they share personal updates with friends and family.

As posts reach a wider audience and their feed is updated more frequently, it is not uncommon if your daughter has become addicted to scrolling through Instagram. For teens struggling with self-esteem and connection, Instagram provides the illusion of validation through likes and comments; but, the more teens post and put themselves out there online, the less connected they often feel offline.

Isn’t everyone addicted to their phone?

With smartphones, we carry access to the whole world in our hands. According to a recent New York Times article, “most people check their smartphones 150 times per day, or every six minutes.” Each time we pick up our phone, we get sucked into a vortex of selfies, articles, emails, and endless scrolling. Teens spend an average of nine hours a day staring at a screen and most of them are worried they spend too much time on their phones. Like all addictions, technology convinces us that we need it and we can’t live without the identities we’ve built online. Although technology gives us access to more information, improves productivity, and helps us to connect with others, it can have a significant impact on our self-esteem, relationships, and digital safety.

Potential Harm caused by Instagram

Social media is just another form of media that can offer fake news, unrealistic role models, and awareness of violence in society. The difference between social media and other news outlets is that it is run by users and largely unregulated, unless you are a high-profile personality. Most teens that use Instagram as a cry for help or to target others go under the radar.

The biggest problem with social media is that people feel pressure to present false, idealistic versions of themselves. Most accounts are used to glamorize your life, which can be an immediate boost to your self esteem, but forces you to keep up appearances. While more influencers are becoming vulnerable about having bad days or using photoshop, teenagers often compare themselves to the good parts of other people’s lives without realizing a picture may hide a thousand words.

Hiding likes may not protect teenagers from cyberbullying or censor the type of information they are exposed to, but it can help teenagers form an identity outside of likes. Constantly comparing yourself to others and receiving messages about what your life should look like, if only you could afford these products or have these experiences, takes a toll on one’s self-esteem and self concept. Teens feel pressure to be the person they want to be online and look for approval from others by giving into buying products and going places “for the gram.” The lack of censorship of smaller accounts can contribute to receiving hateful comments or spreading screenshots of personal information that can tear apart the unstable sense of self-esteem teens build online.

Benefits of using Instagram

It’s impossible to make your daughter avoid using Instagram altogether. Most teens have smartphones and communicate with their friends more often through social media than over text.

We don’t believe technology use should be restricted, but we encourage girls to learn how to use social media to empower themselves rather than to self-destruct.

  • Helps teens stay in touch with friends
  • Provides a way to bond over content in person or to discover you have shared interests with your peers
  • Easier than communicating in person for teens with social anxiety
  • Can be easier to reach out for support to a wider audience than to text a specific person. You never know who might respond and how supportive they might be.
  • Likes are a stamp of approval and support, even if they are easy to obsess over
  • Encourages teens to share their achievements and creativity
  • Can be a good distraction from overwhelming emotions
  • Many accounts are filled with positive messages about self-esteem and embracing who you are

It’s all about choosing who you follow and who you let follow your account. Maybe hiding likes will help get back to the real purpose of social media: forming positive connections.

Solstice West can help

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Many of them struggle with technology addiction that has taken a blow to their self-esteem and they have difficulty maintaining in-person relationships due to self-doubt, people-pleasing, and insecurity.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage women with the ability to believe in themselves offline and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

Snapchat Addiction: The Darkside of a Popular Worldwide App

Snapchat Addiction: The Darkside of a Popular Worldwide App 1280 853 Solstice RTC

Snapchat is just about on every teenager’s smartphone. It’s one of the most used apps in the world, competing with other major companies like Instagram and Facebook. A downside has begun to become apparent, though, as this app continues to increase in popularity: Snapchat addiction.

This may be the moment that you chuckle, but I guarantee this is real. Technology addictions are getting more serious attention lately–and Snapchat addiction needs to be included in that enhanced awareness.

Why a Snapchat addiction should be taken seriously

To understand why Snapchat addiction should be taken seriously, you have to understand why technology addictions are very real. Addictions aren’t just reserved for substances–really you can become addicted to most things that light up the reward system in the brain.

Take gambling addictions for example; people become addicted to the feeling, the rush, of winning money. With technology, it’s similar. For video game addictions, it’s usually being used as a sort of escape from reality. For a Snapchat addiction, it’s more about views and “snap streaks.”

If you’re like me, you have no clue what a snap streak is. Snapchat is usually reserved for individuals under the age of 30, which means parents often have no clue as to how it works.

snapchat addictionSnap streaks are the way to measure “success” on Snapchat. On Instagram it’s about likes, on Snapchat it’s about the streak. A snap streak is when you’ve been sending snaps directly to a person for a prolonged amount of time. To get the streak, you have to do it each day, though–so if you miss a day, you lose the streak.

This all sounds pretty trivial to parents, but for some teens it’s everything.

For some teens, it’s a measure of how much you care about someone or how much they care for you. If you’re good friends, they’re more motivated to keep the streak going; if you’re not, they’ll let it die without mourning.

It can get so obsessive that the streaks continue for over a year–and if you lose one, it can be devastating, it can even ruin a friendship. So, it’s easy to see how this obsession to grow into something problematic.

It can begin as something harmless, but if behavior increasingly becomes erratic and obsessive based around Snapchat, there may be a real issue. When a teen begins to place their self worth on the number of likes, followers, or snaps they receive, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Snapchat ranked among worst social media for mental health

In a study conducted by Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement (YHM), researchers found that Instagram and Snapchat are the worst for mental health in teens.

The data came from 1,500 youth, ages 14-24, in order to understand social media’s impact on the age group that uses it the most.

The researchers believe this is because the two platforms are largely based on image rather than anything else. It all focuses on followers and shallow status factors. Having your self esteem based on something so volatile and superficial can lead to serious mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, extreme feelings of loneliness, and more.

Solstice is a teen depression treatment center

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, Snapchat addiction, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Dealing with these issues can get confusing and overwhelming fast–but we’re here to help guide you.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage women with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we help with Snapchat addiction at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

Solstice 20/20 Episode: How Digital Addiction Is Affecting Teens

Solstice 20/20 Episode: How Digital Addiction Is Affecting Teens 1280 954 Solstice RTC

If you haven’t heard already, recently there was a Solstice 20/20 episode about how we deal with digital addiction in our program. Our technological advancements have bettered the lives of many, but there’s always some fallout from new things–that doesn’t make it bad, it just means we have to learn to identify the issue and treat it well.

This is exactly what we talk about in the Solstice 20/20 episode. How we help girls who have formed unhealthy attachments to technology work through their issue and find a healthier, sustainable way to use the digital tools given to us to improve their lives.

solstice 20/20 episodeWhat is digital addiction?

First, let’s go over what an addiction is. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction:

“Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response…This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.”

While addiction is most commonly thought to be with substances, it can also be with behaviors. A behavior such as using technological devices–like a smartphone.

When your teen has an extreme compulsion to always have their phone around and use it for at least a minimum amount daily, there’s probably an issue. Especially if that compulsion is getting in the way of their interpersonal relationships and wellbeing.

What is discussed in the Solstice 20/20 episode?

In the Solstice 20/20 episode, we go through one of our students’ experiences with digital addiction. Before coming to Solstice, she struggled with an strong dependency on her cell phone. She would constantly use her phone–texting, posting on various social media platforms, and spending hours and hours of her real life focused on her digital life.

This unhealthy use began to get in the way of relationships with the important people in her life. Her parents–like many–tried to lower her use by taking away her phone, but that seemed to just make matters worse.

She began to act out and get involved with dangerous sides of the internet. After her parents discovered a suicide note by accident, they enrolled her in Solstice to put her on a path to recovery.

The journey hasn’t been easy, but she and her family feel that she has gained a stronger sense of self-awareness, accountability, and overall wellbeing.

In response to a question about her progress, she responded:

“I can be by myself and be okay and I’m reconnecting with a lot of things I love. And I don’t feel empty.”

Solstice is here for your daughter

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage women with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we help at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

Why Instagram Could Be Worse for Your Daughter with Low Self Esteem

Why Instagram Could Be Worse for Your Daughter with Low Self Esteem 1280 854 Solstice RTC

Social media is embedded in most of our daily lives today, few will dispute that. Adults are known to have at least a Facebook profile, while teens are known to have all the social media accounts under the sun–but what are the effects of this? New studies are showing that unfettered social media use may be harmful to teens, especially a daughter with low self esteem.

Study shows Instagram is most harmful to mental health

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world with over 700 million users. The app is centered on photos users post; other users can comment and “like” the post if they choose.

There’s still a vast amount of information we don’t know about the effects of social media on young brains, which is why RSPH and the Young Health Movement decided to conduct a study.

The study, #StatusOfMind, discovered Instagram to be the top contributor to negative mental health effects in youth–while YouTube was the most (and only) positive platform. The study involved almost 1,500 young people, ranging in age from 14 to 24.

daughter with low self esteemThe results showed that Instagram was particularly hard on young girls’ mental health–which could be especially alarming if you have a daughter with low self esteem.

Why Instagram is causing issues

The issue with Instagram has to do with the photos being posted. The majority of photos posted on Instagram of people have been altered with either a filter or other technical modifications–which means they’re often not showing what people really look like, they’re showing the “perfected” version.

The version with clear skin. The version with slimmer legs. The version that doesn’t exist.

For a daughter with low self esteem, she may scroll through Instagram seeing all of these “perfect” girls with “perfect” skin and “perfect” bodies–this may cause her to feel worse about herself because she doesn’t look like those girls, even though they don’t even look like that in real life.

While the researchers agree that it’s not realistic to “ban” filters or photoshop, they are pushing for these platforms to step up and work out a way to let people know an image isn’t showing reality. This would allow young people to see that they’re comparing themselves to something that’s no more real than a fairytale.

We need to teach our children how to use social media in healthy, positive ways that help them connect with others–not degrade their sense of self-worth to how many “likes” they can get on a photo.

If you believe your daughter is struggling with a mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.

Solstice is here for your daughter with low self esteem

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage women with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we can help your daughter with low self esteem at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

A Craving for ‘Likes’: Is It a Social Media Addiction?

A Craving for ‘Likes’: Is It a Social Media Addiction? 1280 720 Solstice RTC

There are certain reward centers in the brain that go crazy for things like chocolate or winning money, which explains why people binge on chocolate or continue to gamble even when they’re in debt. These reward centers also have to do with why social media addiction is an issue.  

While we still know very little about social media addiction and how it works, we’re beginning to understand it. One study even found that there may be a link between genetics and social media use, which could lead to a better understanding of how social media addiction works and how to tell if someone has a higher risk or not.

social media addictionSocial media addiction defined

Social media addiction isn’t officially classified as an addiction, but it’s a compulsive need to use social media–even if it’s in a dangerous situation, like driving. If your child were to have a social media addiction and you took away their form of accessing it, it’s likely that they would show symptoms like anxiety or mood swings.

Also, for someone with social media addiction, it’s likely they take the risk of checking social media while driving, which is on par with drunk driving. Social media addiction has the power to make someone risk their life, showing that it’s a dangerous attachment that can only be described as an addiction or harmful obsession.

Why it should be considered a ‘real’ addiction

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that nearly a quarter of all teens are online almost constantly. Now, that may not seem like an issue, but look at it this way. If you build that much of a reliance on something, it’s not always going to be healthy. Once it begins to interfere with interacting with others and the environment around you, there’s probably an issue.

In another study, it was found that if a teen saw a photo on Instagram–a social media platform–had a lot of likes or was liked by a friend, they would like it. Now if teens saw the exact photo, but with less likes or no likes from friends, they would be dramatically less likely to like it. This shows how friends have the power to influence a teen’s decisions and preferences.

The question is this: if your daughter is craving “likes” and is driven to “like” things with more “likes”, will she turn to methods to get “likes” even if they’re inappropriate? This is why we need to pay attention to the reality of social media addiction and the power it can hold over someone.

If you believe your daughter is struggling it’s critical to seek out help immediately.

Solstice is here for your daughter

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, bullying, low self-esteem, social media addiction, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage women with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we treat social media addiction at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

Could Teen Technology Use Be the Next Big Drug?

Could Teen Technology Use Be the Next Big Drug? 150 150 Solstice RTC

The world we live in today involves massive amounts of technology. Few will argue that technology is the future. It’s how we communicate while on different continents. It’s how we tell our children we love them when we’re on a business trip. It’s how we record important moments in our lives through photos. It’s how we have access to more information than any physical library can ever offer. It’s also how out of control teen technology use came to be.

teen technology useIt’s essential for our children to know how to operate correctly, but that’s not how many use it. Many use the power of technology to engage in inappropriate behavior and even endanger themselves–this is when it becomes an issue.  

When teen technology use turns harmful

For starters, let’s celebrate something. The rate that teens, aged from 12 to 17, are smoking and drinking has been nearly cut in half in less than 15 years. That’s amazing and extremely good news.

Something not to celebrate is the rate of teen technology use. As substance abuse rates for teens have been going down, the use of technology has been exponentially going up. You may not think that’s an issue at first, but give me some time to explain.

Regular use of technology can absolutely be safe, useful, and life-enriching. Overuse can be the opposite. Just like anything else, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Think about it.

If your teen is so obsessed with their device that they’re willing to risk their life–and the life of others–just to check who liked their photo on Instagram, there’s a problem. It can cause more than just risky driving, though. It’s becoming more apparent that technology has the power to increase isolating tendencies and addictive behavior towards technology.

The only way to describe what some teens are going through is “addictive.” Some studies have shown that when teens get notifications on their devices–such as a “like” on Facebook–it triggers dopamine to be released, producing a similar effect to being high. This is how teen technology use can get out of hand.

When a teenager is already prone to rash decisions and no self-control, social media and devices can just exhaust this type of behavior. Many teens even sleep with their devices right next to them.

Inappropriate or excessive teen technology use can seriously get in the way of daily life, from making it difficult to discuss important issues with your teen to your teen getting panic attacks when separated from their devices. This is why teen technology use needs to be taken more critically than it currently is.

Solstice RTC is here for your daughter

Solstice RTC is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, inappropriate teen technology use, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage women with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we treat inappropriate teen technology use at Solstice RTC, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.