Social Media Impact On Children


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Social Media Impact On Children

  1. 1. Social Media Impact on Children Gerald Theis, LCSW Psychotherapist Founder Theis & Associates , LLC Milwaukee, WI 414-418-1409 [email_address]
  2. 2. Generation Excess - Social and Marketing Impact On Youth <ul><li>I WANT WHAT I WANT NOW… </li></ul><ul><li>WIFM </li></ul>
  3. 3. Program Objectives <ul><li>Describe the psychological effects of social & marketing media on youth </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the challenges about this “Generation Excess” demanding expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Describe what parents, teachers, school counselors and health professionals can do to address concerns over “Generation Excess” </li></ul>
  4. 4. SOCIAL & MARKETING MEDIA <ul><li>The Media is very diverse and comprised of a variety of forms </li></ul><ul><li>Advertisement is consistently prominent throughout </li></ul><ul><li>Business corporations recognize the importance and influence of media to contemporary society and take advantage of its ability to reach youth globally </li></ul>
  5. 5. THE MADNESS…….. <ul><li>Advertisers spend more than $12 billion per year to target the youth market because of its strong contribution to the consumer economy (Lauro, 1999; Rice, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Children age 14 years old and under make up $24 billion in direct purchases and influence $190 billion in family purchases </li></ul><ul><li>Companies recognize that Brand Loyalty built at an early age reaps economic rewards over a child’s lifetime (McNeal, 1987) </li></ul><ul><li>Families with 3 to 12 yr. old spend 53.8 billion annually on entertainment, personal care items and reading materials for their children 17.6 billion greater than parents spent </li></ul><ul><li>Teen spending last year (ages 12-19) spent approximately 175 billion, in contrast to 53 billion in l977 </li></ul><ul><li>Packaged Facts Marketing Research </li></ul>
  6. 6. Marketing Media On Youth <ul><li>Average American child sees greater than 40,000 commercials annually! That is in addition to fast-food outlets in school, and movies </li></ul><ul><li>There is virtually no escape </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing call it “cradle to grave brand loyalty” Get the kid when they’re born </li></ul><ul><li>Cradle to grave marketing – become a consumer the moment they can see </li></ul><ul><li> It is a hostile takeover of childhood </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>American Academy of Pediatrics </li></ul>
  7. 7. ADS – Four Product Categories <ul><li>TOYS </li></ul><ul><li>CEREAL </li></ul><ul><li>CANDIES </li></ul><ul><li>FAST FOODS </li></ul>
  8. 8. Convergence of 4 Factors <ul><li>Changes in the media environment </li></ul><ul><li>Expansion of content </li></ul><ul><li>Ads increase in school and …. </li></ul><ul><li>THE INTERNET </li></ul>
  9. 9. Expansion of Content <ul><li>Expansion of content in which advertising messages are encountered </li></ul><ul><ul><li>53% of children aged 2-18 years have a TV in their bedroom with proportions of 2-4 yr. olds (26 %) and 5-7 yr. olds (39 %) (Roberts et al., 1999) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privatization in media consumption - without parent supervision can’t buffer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the classroom – Posters, billboards, corporate sponsored educational commercials shown daily in “ Channel One” newscast, which are seen in more than one-third in the US middle and high schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US General Accounting Office, 2000 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Changes in the Media Environment <ul><li>Internet: 48% of 8-18 yr olds live in a home with a computer linked to Internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Households with children aged 2-7 yrs. old are just slightly less 40% online </li></ul><ul><li>(Roberts, Foehr, Rideout, & Brodie, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Roughly one in five (19%) of 8-13 year-olds reported visiting a Web site on the previous day, and more than one in four (28%) of 14-18 year olds indicated such use </li></ul><ul><li>22%of teens log on to Facebook more than 10 times a day </li></ul><ul><li>75% of teens own a cell phone and 25% have internet access </li></ul><ul><li>54% use their phone for texting and text on average 100 times a day </li></ul><ul><li>24% are text messaging </li></ul>
  11. 11. Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood <ul><li>With virtually no government or public outcry, the multi-billion dollar youth marketing industry has been able to use the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world </li></ul><ul><li>American kids now influence an estimated $700 billion in annual spending, targeted virtually from birth with a relentless bombardment of sophisticated commercial appeals designed to sell everything from Hollywood merchandise and junk foods to iPods, cell phones, the family car and vacations </li></ul><ul><li>The result is that childhood itself has been commercialized. Drawing on the insights of experts, industry insiders, and children themselves, Consuming Kids traces the evolution and impact of this disturbing and unprecedented phenomenon, exposing the youth marketing industry, controversial tactics and exploring the effect ... </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  12. 12. Marketing To Children <ul><li>OVER STIMULATION </li></ul><ul><li>Babies process to hypothesis orienting reflex loop fight or flight </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t understand the concept and the cuts are too quick to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Is so stimulating infants get startled then react then repeat this response </li></ul><ul><li>Children and adolescents are particularly susceptible </li></ul>
  13. 13. Child’s Comprehension of TV Ads <ul><li>Product Disclosures & Disclaimers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each Part Sold Separately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Batteries Not Included </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some Assembly Required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of a Balanced Breakfast </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Kids lack two key information processing skills <ul><li>Inability to discriminate at a perception level from commercial content </li></ul><ul><li>Attribute persuasive intent to advertising and to apply a degree of skepticism consistent with that knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>We are basically running a fast and uncontrolled experiment on toddles </li></ul><ul><li> We just have no idea…………. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Hyperdemic Syringe Model <ul><li>Believes the audience is very passive and not active in controlling the media </li></ul><ul><li>Will never believe and take in whatever is presented as truth </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, the consumer will accept the images they are shown as truth and want to buy the product. Examples: The iPod, by Apple, a must have product </li></ul><ul><li>Can influence us at what is deemed a desired image although people are often careful with how they spend money </li></ul>
  16. 16. 2nd Model: Audience Needs and Gratification Model <ul><li>Believes the audience is active and that the media must mold itself in order to gratify the needs and desires of the public </li></ul>
  17. 17. 3rd Model-Two Step Flow Model <ul><li>Media’s influence is not passive, but is vulnerable to influence from those that they called ‘opinion leaders’ </li></ul><ul><li>These leaders are described as active individuals in the audience who influence others with their views about media </li></ul><ul><li>Widely respected celebrities in the music industry influence us because “if its good enough for them its good enough for me.” ex. BONO an opinion leader </li></ul><ul><li>People value the opinions of celebrities and will change their views and attitudes on the subject according to the celebrity </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t control individuals thoughts BUT can help form opinions </li></ul>
  18. 18. Advertising May Have A Significant Impact On Self Esteem <ul><li>74% of 15-17 yr olds in the US would like to change themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps more surprisingly, 81% of Americans between the ages of 15-64 are similarly dissatisfied with their physical appearance </li></ul><ul><li>This show us that advertising therefore has a significant impact on a large percentage of its audience </li></ul>
  19. 19. Killers of Confidence <ul><li>Struggle with Body Image </li></ul><ul><li>Our perception of “beauty” is a distorted perception of ourselves as “PERFECT” </li></ul><ul><li>Young men perception may encourage use of steroids </li></ul><ul><li>Afraid to be Fat </li></ul><ul><li>Create pessimism </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage plastic surgery </li></ul>
  20. 20. Emily’s Girl World <ul><li>Virtual Models </li></ul><ul><li>Emily’s Runway High Fashion. On line service which encourages kids to create virtual models and outfits and emails a fictitious character named Emily - comments and blog users downloaded Emily apps > than 50,000 times (USA Today) </li></ul><ul><li>FDA fined App maker W3 Innovators for collecting and dispensing information on kids < 13 in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) </li></ul>
  21. 21. The DOVE Campaign <ul><li>The Dove campaign for “ Real Beauty” aims to widen the definition of beauty and inspire positive self-image among young women – in short, to help more women feel beautiful every day </li></ul><ul><li>An extensive research effort into the thoughts and feelings of women on the subject of beauty and self esteem to aid them in their campaign to sell their products </li></ul><ul><li>Strike a cord and make the audience feel as if their emotional needs are being met and acknowledged </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  22. 22. Sex and Pregnancy <ul><li>JUNO </li></ul><ul><li>Currently, 47% of teens in high school have reported having sexual intercourse </li></ul><ul><li>52% say they have sexually active friends </li></ul><ul><li>Teens exposed to sexual content on TV are more likely to have permissive attitudes towards premarital sex </li></ul>
  23. 23. Present Day Media Affecting Teen Behavior Violence <ul><li>90% of all games required injuring characters in order to win & 69% required killing to win </li></ul><ul><li>Columbine </li></ul>
  24. 24. SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>50% of US adults on social networks - slightly more than one year ago </li></ul><ul><li>¾ use Facebook or Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Power users:18-29 yrs. (89% use social networks – 69% daily users </li></ul><ul><li>Roughly half of children ages 6 through 9 regularly interact with friends online, yet 58% of there parents admitted to not being knowledgeable about social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook is open to those 13 and older </li></ul><ul><li>7.5 million Facebook users are 12 and under </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer Reports </li></ul>
  25. 25. Risks To Children From Social Networking <ul><li>As pedophiles became technologically sophisticated they are able to find and connect with kids easier than with previous methods </li></ul><ul><li>Teens spend 2-3 hours a day online </li></ul><ul><li>More time on-line also means a higher risk of children being exposed to inappropriate content and advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Identity thieves target minor’s names and SS #’s to create bogus credit card accounts with a lower likelihood of getting discovered </li></ul>
  26. 26. Psychological Impact of Social Media <ul><li>Promote instant gratification on demand, false expectation and entitlement. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty coping, distorted sense of the world struggle and success in work and relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Have difficulty knowing what is enough </li></ul><ul><li>Wish that “if just everyone would move out of the house everything would be fine” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  27. 27. Parental Strategies to Combat Threat to Kids <ul><li>Parents need to talk to children what are they doing online </li></ul><ul><li>Use of judgment – no password disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>No stranger becoming their “ friend” </li></ul><ul><li>Learn the lingo </li></ul><ul><li>Damage reputations </li></ul>
  28. 28. Parent Effective Strategies <ul><li>Children need limits because they feel better and secure when they live within a certain structure </li></ul><ul><li>Children learn self-control by watching parent’s behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Learning how to overcome challenges is essential to become successful </li></ul><ul><li>Cheer them on …but don’t cave in </li></ul><ul><li>Need to build a strong self-work ethic </li></ul>
  29. 29. The Spy Who Raised Me <ul><li>Peeping Parents </li></ul><ul><li>11% joined Facebook for the sole purpose of snooping </li></ul><ul><li>55% of parents use facebook to keep an eye on their kids </li></ul><ul><li>16% send a friend message to their kids </li></ul><ul><li>What they’re spying on… </li></ul><ul><li>41% status updates </li></ul><ul><li>39% wall postings </li></ul><ul><li>29% tagged photos </li></ul><ul><li>Spying goes beyond Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>76% monitor internet history </li></ul><ul><li>21% look at instant messaging history </li></ul><ul><li>23% check “ sent” folders on email accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Underage Facebook Users Are A Reality </li></ul><ul><li>20 million members are 18 or younger </li></ul>
  30. 30. STOP THE MADNESS…. <ul><li>Few parents ask kids to do anything around the house because they think the kids are overwhelmed by social and academic pressures </li></ul><ul><li>Parents have so little time with their kids they don’t want it to be filled with conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Kids who don’t have responsibility never learn one of life’s most basic lessons </li></ul><ul><li>That every individual can be of service to others </li></ul><ul><li>That life has meaning beyond one’s own immediate happenings </li></ul>
  31. 31. “ Keep the Kids Happy” <ul><li>The distorted thoughts of overindulging parents’ self-imposed pressure to constantly “Keep the Kids Happy” </li></ul><ul><li>How to convert over indulging parents “mentoring” parents </li></ul><ul><li>How Much Is Enough </li></ul><ul><li>Most kids do understand that “treats” are for special occasions </li></ul><ul><li>Teens always insist on getting their way </li></ul>
  32. 32. “ Greatest Generation” <ul><li>Parents of the 90’s raised on values of thrift and self-sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>Grew up in households had to work </li></ul><ul><li>Had to beg for a phone (landline) in your bedroom </li></ul><ul><li>The oldest members of “ Generation Excess” were born in the late 80’s just as PC’s and video games were making their assault in the family room </li></ul>
  33. 33. Affluent Parents…… <ul><li>Affluent parents can raise well-adjusted children; the struggle to set limits has never been tougher. Saying “NO” is harder when you can afford to say yes </li></ul><ul><li>Kids who have been given too much too soon grow-up and have difficulty coping with life’s disappointments. Distorted sense of entitlement that gets in the way of success </li></ul><ul><li>Materialistic Attitudes - $250.00 iPod for a 9yr. old - idea buying an extravagant gadget for a kid who doesn’t know long division </li></ul>
  34. 34. Begging For Brand Names <ul><li>When children crave something most expect to ask (9) times and their parents give in </li></ul><ul><li>Nagged, pestered, insisting “everyone has one”, kids want to have what others have </li></ul><ul><li>Now PC’s and Flat Screens are essential utilities and kids are developing strategies to them… NAGGING </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing To Children: </li></ul><ul><li>This outtake from &quot;The Corporation&quot; shows an interview explaining the rationale for marketers to manipulate children to nag their parents to influence purchasing decisions. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Polo * Rocawear * Gucci * Nike * Jordan </li></ul>
  35. 35. BACK TO BASICS <ul><li>PARENTING SKILLS </li></ul><ul><li>MORALITY </li></ul><ul><li>FREE TIME ZONE </li></ul>
  36. 36. A BALANCE <ul><li>What parents need to discover is a balance between the advantages of an affluent society and the critical life lessons that comes from working, saving and hard work to achieve goals </li></ul><ul><li>The search for balance has to start early –Be reasonable – they don’t notice the CLOTHES, they notice the BEHAVIORS </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety about the future is a factor </li></ul><ul><li>Baby boomers in the 60’s/70’s are ill equipped to counter the relentless pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Believed they were going to have a closer relationship </li></ul>
  37. 37. VALUES <ul><li>Parents who want to teach values have to take a long hard look at their own need to walk the walk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Honesty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compassion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard Work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must lead a life that centers on higher values so you demonstrate credibility and integrity when you try to being compromised by negative social media influences </li></ul><ul><li>Set appropriate limits </li></ul><ul><li>Delay gratification </li></ul>
  38. 38. How To Say “NO” <ul><li>It is the unexpected legacy of the affluent 90’s generation who can’t say “NO” </li></ul><ul><li>Generation – always been driven to give their kids every advantage, good intentions created “wanting machines” </li></ul><ul><li>How do to keep grandparents from buying and buying and buying </li></ul><ul><li>Learning to deal with an over indulged children and their enabling parents </li></ul>
  39. 39. Parents Need To Band Together <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kids Are Out Of Control </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Parents need to band together to enforce limits and rules so that no one has to feel guilty for denying a kid a $300.00 Nokia phone </li></ul><ul><li>Parents need to be parents and not their BFF </li></ul>
  40. 40. What School Counselors and Teachers Can Do <ul><li>Help parents to appreciate the different cognitive abilities of different ages and teach an understanding of the practices of advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Help children resist being unduly influenced by advertising pressures </li></ul><ul><li>Provide strategies for combating the more pernicious effects of massive advertising that targets children </li></ul><ul><li>Support Continuing Education (Media Literacy Training) School psychologist and school counselors are uniquely positioned to help educate children, their families and other professionals concerning the importance of recognizing and addressing the impact on the lives of children </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend the Development of Media Literacy Curricula, particularly school psychologist takes a central role in developing and implementing effective advertising media for all school grades levels 3rd through 12th </li></ul>
  41. 41. What School Counselors and Teachers Can Do <ul><li>Need to educate children about advertising techniques, messages and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Provide tools that children need to develop critical viewing skills that help resist advertising’s negative effects </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation: Restrict school based advertising in all forms serving children 8 yrs. old and under </li></ul><ul><li>Children less than 8 lack the capacity to recognize and defend effectively against commercial persuasion </li></ul><ul><li>It is unfair to direct commercial content to kids too young to recognize the persuasive intent and to filter its messages </li></ul>
  42. 42. APA Clinical Report and Guidelines <ul><li>American Academy of Pediatrics New Clinical Report, “The Impact of Social Media Use on Children, Adolescents and Families” </li></ul><ul><li>(April issue of Pediatrics ( published online March 28) </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations to help families navigate the social media landscape: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advise parents to talk to children about their online use and the specific issues that today’s online kids face, such as cyberbullying, sexting and difficulty managing their time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advise parents to work on their own “participation gap” in their homes by becoming better educated about the many technologies their children are using </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss with families the need for a family online-use plan, with an emphasis on healthy behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss with parents the importance of supervising online activities via active participation and communication, not just monitoring </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Parent Empowerment Program ™ <ul><li>Parent Empowerment Program ™ will: </li></ul><ul><li>Address the negative influences ads and social media have on our youth </li></ul><ul><li>Empower parents and communities how to confront these challenges with specific strategies and action plans for parents, school counselors, teachers and health professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Parents will be taught how to say no without feeling guilty </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilize communities to form consistent guidelines that address the psychological impact of social and marketing media assault on our youth </li></ul><ul><li>For information of workshops and public speaking: </li></ul><ul><li>Contact: Gerald A. Theis, LCSW </li></ul><ul><li> Cell: 414.418-1409 </li></ul><ul><li> email: </li></ul>