Growing up can be very difficult. Sometimes as parents we forget the challenges and don’t understand how life is for you. We also had some tough times being a teenager, however we did not have the same pressures you do. Our parents couldn’t contact us all the time, we couldn’t see our grades so quickly. We also did not have all these media images influencing us constantly. We did not have access to all this constant information and perhaps we don’t know how to deal with it at times. We are all very worried about how much technology can harm and distract you. We are happy you have access to all this information and this is still new for us. We are trying to catch up with the technology and be a good example. We all want to find a balance. It can be tricky for us since so many people and things require our attention. Plus, it can also pull us away too so it’s really problematic. We are trying to be a good example. If you feel like we aren’t present you should remind us. We love you and need to be reminded.

      Some of this technology was created to addict people and it worked. It’s never going away and we will have to learn to work together with managing it all. Please educate yourself so you don’t lose out on life. Even if everybody is doing it, it is not always acceptable. It’s a problem in our society and we don’t want to lose any more kids and teen to this epidemic. Talk to your friends and inspire each other to go phone free more often and not have it in your hand and face constantly. You should be reading people’s emotions, learning and laughing together about things in the real life. Being too far deep in the digital life is really harmful.  I am sure you have people that have been very negatively affected. Don’t let that happen to you. You deserve better and being young is the best. Enjoy being a teenager and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. This is causing depression and anxiety.

      I am sure deep down inside you know that many images and pictures are not always geniune. People post things for many reasons. Some reasons are really great and some are really horrible. Even if you are just looking at stuff that is harmless, in excess, you are still wasting time away from real life, growing up, friends and just being a teen. Plus, you can’t "unsee" negative things and  that is what affects you the worse. People get hung up on one negative comment and it changes their mood. This is wasteful. We are not supposed to be seeing what everybody else is doing all the time. It's not what is important. It's not healthy and we should focus more on being our very best as much as possible. Be a leader and inspire your generation. Please think about this.

     If you feel pressure you should talk to your friends, parents, siblings, family about it and you can all strive to be better. Seek help and come to a group (with parental permission). You can bring some friends. Let’s rise together as a community. Spending time constantly with your iPhone and not your friends is not what is best for you. It has caused so many well researched problems. Please educate yourself on how to use it safely and how to protect yourself from addiction.

     Life is beautiful and we want what is best for you. It may seem really hard at times, but social media will not always help to make it better. Please note how you feel after you look at images of other people posting flawless images of a perfect life. If it is always bad then why do you do it? Everyone feels left out at times and social media can make it much worse. Enjoy the moment and be present. Show up for yourself, show up for your family and show up for your friends. Please be yourself and stand proud. You are the future and we want to be there for you. We love you teens!