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Josh sat down with seven high school students from Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science in Long Beach, CA. This is the first part of the interview. In this episode we discuss screen time, Instagram vs Snapchat, how students want to be talked with to get them to solve their own problems.
- As kids, if parents tell us one thing we're going to do exactly the opposite
- If your child doesn't have a lot of self-control you should monitor the amount of time that they spend on their phone
- Parents set an example for their children
When did you get your first phone? [1:07]
I got my first phone in second grade. I know that's pretty young but that is because my parents are divorced. I was going from house to house different weekends. I got a flip phone called a Duke that you could flip open. –Megan
I got my first phone in sixth grade. It was like a flip phone but it had a touchscreen. –Eric
I got my first phone in the summer of seventh grade. I went up to Seattle to see my aunts and then I flew alone on the plane so my mom felt it was necessary for me to have a little phone. I got a flip phone and that connected with me with her. –Nate
I got my first phone between 3rd and 4th grade. It was a smartphone. It was because I walked to school. My mom was a "techy" person so she gave me a Galaxy S1. –Brendon
I think it was 4th or 5th grade when I got my first cellphone. The reason I got one is I was going between both sides of my family. They wanted to keep in touch and check up on me to make sure I'm alive. –Kiyo
I got my first phone in the summer after tenth grade. –Sarah
I got my first phone at 7. My parents weren’t together. I used to travel back and forth a lot so they wanted to keep in contact. –Xavier
When did you get social media and what app did you use first? [3:14]
I got Facebook when I was in fifth grade. It was because I have a divorced family. It was cool to be able to connect with family on both sides. If I went on vacation with one of my families, I could post pictures and connect with them. The important factor was connecting with family that I haven't really talked to in a while. –Megan
I got social media around sixth grade because I had a girlfriend at that time. She thought it was necessary. –Eric
I got my first Facebook account in sixth grade. My mom wanted to get boosted on Farmville so she got to a much higher level. and I got to play Farmville so that was my first experience with social media. –Nate
I think I got social media around fourth grade. It was MySpace. –Xavier
I joined SnapChat at 16. –Sarah
I got Facebook in third grade. –Kiyo
My mom forced me to get a Facebook account because she wanted the family to always be together. –Brendon
How do teens use Instagram and Snapchat? Which platform do teens prefer? [6:20]
I use Snapchat more. It's hard to draw a comparison between Instagram and SnapChat. For me Instagram is a way to connect with people not necessarily for like my own purpose but to help me get somewhere. I've had this goal since I was a little kid. Instagram gives me a way to talk to people who have achieved that same goal. Instagram is more of a tool to connect me with real people who have done what I want to do whereas Snapchat is a quick conversation with my friends. –Nate
I see Instagram as your public profile whereas Snapchat is like the iMessage of social media apps. You can check in on people without talking to them directly. –Brendon
Snapchat is more of a personal social media platform. Instagram is for things like live Instagram stories or videos and it's really cool to be able to jump in on that. You can join these live stories now and chat with whoever you want. –Megan
I don't spend a lot of time on social media. I spend more time on Instagram but that's because I'm just DMing my friends. It's easier for us that way but I feel that Instagram is more permanent. –Sarah
I use Instagram more than Snapchat. I use it to push me further for certain colleges. I want to get into business and I want to go into mechanical engineering. –Kiyo
How much screen time is too much? [14:14]
As kids, if parents tell us one thing we're going to do exactly the opposite. That's our immediate reaction to almost anything. In my experience, my parents are pretty lenient. They trust me. We have good trust in our relationship. What I've noticed is from kids whose parents are constantly telling them “Hey get off your phone.” “Hey get off your phone or I'm gonna take your phone before you go to bed.” Those kids are on their phone the most because when they are given the opportunity to be on their phone they are like “Alright, I have to savor all of this time. I have to cram it all in.” That's not healthy. I feel more and more we need to remember that the more you say not to be on your phone the more kids are gonna want to be on their phones. This is another thing. Parents, you guys are examples. A lot of times we see parents revert to being on their phones constantly and it's really shaking for us to see them constantly checking their phones in social anxiety evoking situations. For instance I see parents just sitting, waiting in line and they immediately go on their phone to look like they're doing something because everyone else is. I see parents do that a lot. Then they turn around and tell their kids “Hey stop being on your phone. Stop doing this.” It sends the wrong message. I feel a lot of parents don't understand that. It's something important to remember. –Megan
I feel like parents should try to limit screen time in the hopes of preventing their children from getting addicted. I'm not saying that all children will get addicted because there are kids who can use their phone without feeling it's necessary all the time. Some kids don't have that self control. If your child doesn't have a lot of self-control you should monitor the amount of time that they're on their phone. If your child has exhibited self-control and seems like they've got a pretty good handle on the situation you can monitor them less. You should still be aware of how much time they spend but you don't need to be breathing over their shoulder. –Sarah
It starts with the relationship between the parent and the child. If you're not trusting your child and you've seen that they are trustworthy, they don't make good use of their time then the phone isn't the starter. –Brendon
What ideas do you have about self-control? [18:58]
One family friend’s daughter was getting addicted to her phone. My mom and I suggested for her to go to her daughter and say, “Alright, hey this is the deal. I think that you're on your phone way too much. First I'm going to let you solve the problem. You figure out how much time you should be on it. You figure out what you're going to do to combat it. Then come to me and tell me how you're gonna deal with it.” Practice that for two or three weeks and then see the results. See what happens. If you're giving your kid trust, they will trust you. –Megan
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