Cyber Dive’s mission is focused on helping parents teach their children to become aware of how their online activity affects their overall wellbeing. Our solution is different from our competitors because we don’t see social media as the problem. If anything, we are looking to make social media a beneficial tool in solving the bigger issue, and that is children’s mental health. In many cases, social media can be an integral part of making or breaking one’s mental health. This is a result of the type of content they are scrolling past, the users they interact with and their intention for engaging on popular social platforms. If you are interested in promoting awareness online to bring your child wellness offline, keep reading.
Over the past decade, smartphone ownership in the U.S. has jumped from 20% of the population to over 72%. Simultaneously, mental health disorders have become more prevalent in the United States. Around 1 in 5 adults are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and 1 in 6 experience depression at some point in their life. These numbers have shown an increase over the past years, but why is that? Research has yet to prove a direct correlation, but it is possible that the sudden influx in the daily use of technology has played a role in the overall mental health decline.
So what is a realistic, progressive solution that doesn’t require downgrading back to a flip phone? Online awareness. Cyber Dive believes that the mindful use of technology is the most sustainable and effective way to improve the relationship between your mental health and online activity. Now, this will look different for everyone and is all about finding the right balance. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some recommended practices to create more conscious online experiences.
Be aware of your intention. Why are you using your digital device? Is there a specific task you are needing to complete or are you just bored? Regardless of your purpose, I encourage you to be aware of what this reason is to avoid hours of thoughtless scrolling.
Think about how you feel. Take a moment to become aware of your emotions and mental state before using your phone so that you can reevaluate how you are feeling when you put your phone back down. This may take some time, but you will begin to see patterns in the content you are interacting with and the way it leaves you feeling. Eventually, you will be able to prioritize only engaging with content that leaves you feeling as good as, if not better than before.
Be picky about the people you interact with online. If someone is constantly posting hateful, negative content, hit that unfollow (or block!) button. If you wouldn’t surround yourself with them in real life, why waste your time and feed space with the unwanted negativity.
Remind yourself that online lives rarely reflect one’s reality. It’s easier said than done, but removing this pressure from only posting what you think people want to see is not as fulfilling as posting what you feel passionate about and what you believe is an accurate representation of you. Some of the happiest moments are far from picture-perfect and that’s okay!
Stop seeking validation online. Find offline practices that benefit your self-love journey. Whether it is daily affirmations, customizing a self-care day for yourself or simply spending time with people that lift you up. When you stop relying on online validation, you will feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders. The goal is for social media to no longer hold this power over your self-esteem and confidence.
Cyber Dive refers to its products and services as parenting tools because we have full faith that it can strengthen parent-child relationships. We created our monitoring tools for parents who see the value in guiding their children to build healthy, mindful, digital habits. It is easy for children to get caught up in the world of TikTok or Snapchat and sometimes difficult for them to catch red flags on their own. Without any knowledge of how your child is interacting on social media, you are unable to provide them with the proper support that they need. For your digital native children, encouraging these habits can help them continue to develop and thrive as responsible online individuals.
You have access to an intuitive analysis designed to present your child’s online activity unbiasedly so that you as a parent can implement the most effective steps moving forward. We won’t tell you that what your child is doing is right or wrong, because that is up to you. We encourage you to talk with your child about your expectations for how they will use social media so that they are prepared to engage and explore with your guidance. As they begin to make their digital footprint, this involvement will set them on the right path. You can feel confident that social media will not create a divide between you and your child because you have both built a positive, mindful relationship with it.