Simon Sinek shares his thoughts on millennials digital addiction and the role that parents play. Press Play to watch the whole video. Here are some of the topics he discussed in this interview with London Real.
On Digital Addiction
Many teens and millennials are victims of digital addiction. They are more comfortable with their social media world than in creating and nurturing real relationships. Rather than build social skills, they are addicted to social media validation. An unhealthy reliance on counting how many likes have received and how many followers they have can lead to digital addiction.
On Career Satisfaction
Sinek shares that many young employees today do not commit long term to the steady development of their career. In a world of instant gratification, young people desire a feeling of fulfilment in their jobs too quickly without paying the price and investing the time. “Life, relationships, career is a journey and there is no App for that” he says. According to him far too many young people leave jobs quickly because they are searching for impact too quickly.
On Failed Parenting
He refers to one of the side effects of failed parenting as causing problems for children by telling them they are special and telling them they can do anything they want. For example praising children even when they don’t deserve it sets children up for problems in the real world. Real life does not give false applause like mum and dad; such as giving all children a medal for participation whether or not they win or deserve it. The bigger problem this creates are adults who cannot stand rejection and don’t know how to ask for help. These children cannot deal with the real world when they find out the truth – that they are not wonderful at everything and cannot have everything that they want.
Children who do not develop social skills, are over-indulged and get used to instant gratification actually grow up with lower self-confidence. The teens who turn to social media for approval, sadly are used to hiding behind filters and may later show signs of mental illness because the facade they paint is not real.
On The Role of Parents and Social Media
Parents have to stop giving children phones and access to social media at young ages. They are simply not ready for it! Their minds cannot cope with the dopamine that is released when they use social media.
According to research, having people “like” your posts releases dopamine in the brain. This is the same chemical that is released when you take drugs, or when a gambling addict wins.
Children are not ready to deal with this exposure to addiction, parents need to play their role, teach and insist on balance. If you give your child a phone, then create balance by ensuring they do not use it during dinner, do not take it into the bedroom, turn it off at a particular time every day etc. It is your job as a parent to create rules and take the phone away from the children, they are children and yes you can take the phone away from them. (He clearly wants to remind parents – you can take the phone away from children).
Parents simply have to intervene, when they don’t these children become addicted and end up in offices with digital addiction which affects even the quality of their work.
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Leaders are responsible for the lives of the people that report to them, or for the people they lead. This includes parents who are responsible for the lives of their children and therefore must make the right decisions for them.
This video by Simon Sinek, provides a lot of food for thought for parents and on realising the damage that excessive use of digital, over indulgence and instant gratification causes.
What to do if you Need To Fix Digital Addiction
If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your life (or that of your children), it might be time for a digital detox. Some tips include no screens before school or work. Decide on some basic ground rules first which will create a structure for the day. So, no screens before school or work in the morning or before homework is done, or during dinner.