The latest smartphones, laptops and tablets are popular holiday presents, but these gifts can turn children into addicts without proper precautions. For the first time, Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, a prominent Beverly Hills medical specialist, reveals his own social media addiction and because of his “in-the-trenches” experience, offers 10 “911” tips to protect kids (and adults) from the dangers of the virtual world of social media.
In his explosive new book, “Influenced: The Impact of Social Media on Our Perception,” Wachler, confesses that he was so ensconced in the deep, dark, depths of all things digital, as a spouse and parent, he missed out on significant experiences and events with his family that could never be recaptured.
“When it comes to our kids,” Wachler said, “social media can make them as ill as cigarettes and can be even be as dangerous as using a gun. Social media can ruin a child’s life … and we owe it to them to protect, guide and control what they see over the world wide web.”
- Set limits on social media. Just like we were given rules for watching TV as a kid, the same rules apply to social. Give them specific time to play with social media, and do not let them engage during homework time or before they go to bed.
- Turn off the smartphone at dinnertime. Make family time sacred and encourage real conversations with your kids. By doing that you’ll help develop real-time human social skills
- Don’t engage with a cyberbully. Engaging with them increases the likelihood of self-harm and suicide.
- Beauty imagery on social isn’t beautiful. One-third of teen girls feel worse about their bodies as it normalizes their opinion of altered body images and body dysmorphia. Your kids are 200 percent more likely to have an eating disorder if they’re glued to perfect body images.
- Social security numbers are not social. Identity theft is real, and make sure your kids understand the dangers of sharing social security numbers.
- Kids don’t need credit card information. Children should never be allowed to give credit card information, which can be a catalyst for stealing identities.
- Never give out your home address. We know that kids need to learn their home address, but they don’t need to share it with anyone online.
- Teens have been killed or injured as a result of posting their whereabouts.
- Never post pictures of your vacation — while on vacation. If criminals can see where you are in real-time, they can burglarize your home while you’re away.
- Violent video games can normalize violent behavior. Playing violent video games numbs senses and encourages children and teens to be more violent.
- Social media can polarize family and friends. Trending topics such as politics can tear a family and their kids apart. Keep the online jargon as neutral as possible.
Additionally, Influenced will give parents real insight on how social media impacts developing brains differently from those of adults, how to gauge when an influencer’s following becomes a cult, and how to protect your family’s right to freedom of expression on social media platforms while cracking down on paid propaganda … and more.
About Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler
Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, widely known as “Dr. Brian,” is a popular social media influencer with 3.4 million followers, most prominently on TikTok. The medical director of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute in Beverly Hills and a staff physician at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he has pioneered medical and surgical treatments that have become industry standard. Dr. Brian is one of only two influencers worldwide to be selected as a member of the Advisory Committee for Identifying Credible Sources of Health Information in Social Media for the National Academy of Medicine, Council of Medical Specialty Societies, World Health Organization.