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Social Media: A Cautionary Tale

“Keeping a diary is living,” Dr. Leonard Sax declared to an attentive group of Clementines, “While social media is performing.”

Dr. Sax, a physician, psychologist, and New York Times bestselling author, visited St. Clement’s as part of the LINCWell Speaker Series on January 30 to address the Senior School in the morning and parents in the evening.

Armed with research and statistics, he cautioned the girls that while not all social media is bad, too much social media involvement can lead to anxiety, depression, and disengagement. He also reminded them that there is no privacy on the internet and that they should disregard all assurances that any image, post, or message cannot be seen by anyone other than the intended recipient.

Unlike previous SCS speakers who recommended that parents mentor rather than monitor their children’s social media activity, Dr. Sax – author of Why Gender Matters, Girls on the Edge, and The Collapse of Parenting – suggested that parents employ Parental Control Software in order to know what their children are doing online and to limit the amount of time they are spending on social media.

“Your job is to be a parent, not a best friend,” Dr. Sax summed-up in the evening. “A best friend can’t tell you what to eat, or forbid you to watch pornography, or take away your phone at 9:00 p.m.; but a parent can, and must.”

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