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November 19, 2021 9:00 am - 4:00 pm


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Facilitator: Julie Walsh, MSW, RSW

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As social media use has grown, the economy of our attention has become increasingly profitable and sought after. Social media has been designed to target the reward systems of our brains, and keep people using “as much as possible, for as long as possible”. Youth are particularly sensitive to these effects. Recent research has shown the negative and highly addictive effects this has on the developing brain. Excessive use has been shown to increase anxiety, cause more behavioural issues, impede social skills, and negatively impact self esteem. Yet, most youth and adults are still highly motivated to continue using these fun, engaging, and ‘rewarding’ platforms.

This first half of this workshop examines the prevalence of social media use among youth, the neurobiology of addiction, the marketing of social media, and the impact on the developing brain.

The second half of this workshop provides information on how to use social media safely, dangerous behaviors such as sexting and cyberbullying, how to know when a youth is at risk, how to mitigate these risks, recommended parameters, and ways to re-engage and reconnect with our youth