OK here comes the list for me and all my teenage clients and friends…
1. Stop checking to see where your friends are. Why? Because feeling excluded reinforces your negativity bias that you are somehow unworthy. People do get left out for many reasons both children and adults. I hate it so much that I often invite people I don’t even like so I won’t risk excluding others! However by checking you only magnify what you already know: you cannot be all things to all people. Let it go and find something more productive to do like going to the gym.
2. Don’t post snapchat stories that you don’t want public. Once you put it out there that you were with Tommy X you can’t take it back from his ex girlfriend. In some circles this can cause WWIII in your friend group. Knock it off.
3. Don’t scroll Facebook every day. For me it was seeing vacations while I was spending the days in a hospital over break. Remember not everyone leads the life of leisure. Facebook is fundamentally skewed to happy people. Go away.
4. Instagram should be for art not seeing who likes your every post. Who has time for that? If you’re like the teens I see who literally count the likes of ex-boyfriends, you are more insecure than you thought you were. Stop wasting your time “talking” to stupid boys and get a life that makes you more interesting so you can meet a real person that treats you like more than a toy. (BTW FACT: boys are two years developmentally behind girls until the age of 25).
5. If you are in real trouble, exposed your nudes or been raped or abused or fear that someone is stalking you or that you are checking hundreds of times per day for evidence of cheating or flying into jealous rages, or actually addicted to your phone, take a step back and consult a good friend or counselor. Getting appropriate help is critical.
So you have backed off your phone for the new year, congratulations! I will try too. Especially when driving. What a strange time to be alive!