A Cleveleys social media expert has added his concerns to headline grabbing warnings over too much screen time and social media for children.
In the week that the World Health Organisation said children under two should be banned from screens and days after Prince Harry said social media was more addictive than drugs, Sham Sangha warned parents need to engage with their children more.
The career coach, who runs Silicon Talent, said his firm had recently carried out some research for an independent Lancashire school as part of a careers fair, and the results reflect the grip of social media on Generation Z.
He said: “It was interesting to note that in the 11-14-year-old group more people knew who Zoella was than where the Lake District is.
“Unless we take an interest in what our children are doing, Social Media influence will only get stronger. One family I have just worked with decided to take the bull by the horns and do something about it as it was seriously disrupting their everyday lives.
"The parents were being affected more than the children. At dinner time all four were catching up on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook while eating, with barely any social conversation taking place. The mum spent more time arguing with people on the internet than helping her daughter with homework.
“They were communicating via text message in the same house.”
“They asked for help, so we looked at how social media algorithms work to create addiction, and through a combination of mindfulness and meditation techniques, how they could lower their stress levels and increase their overall happiness.”
He added that on-line, people were less concerned about causing upset to others, and there was a constant fear that if one doesn’t conform to what they feel society expects of them they will be made fun of.
“There is no doubt that whilst there are great benefits that Social Media brings (we all love funny videos and interacting with our friends), we mustn’t be oblivious to the darkness it creates too.”