Dear PVHS Families,

We are all guilty of going down the Tik Tok spiral during the pandemic, watching hundreds of ten-second videos to keep us entertained. As engaging as these videos are, they can also be addictive for teens who do not understand how chronic cell phone use may negatively affect their brains. Since the pandemic’s onset and the return to daily schooling, we have noticed an increased focus on cell phone use by students. Fake and anonymous accounts on social media chats through video game servers and the constant need to be “liked” have exacerbated the problem. Furthermore, social media companies such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, etc., are fostering “doom scrolling” by teens through algorithms that lead students to harmful content and addictive behaviors.

We recognize that student mental health is suffering and maybe you have been concerned about your own child’s emotional well-being. This year we have strived to create opportunities for our students to be positively engaged in activities that foster meaningful relationships, such as the Homecoming Dance, club activities, athletics, and other school-wide events. Together, we can help our children develop an awareness of the negative impact of chronic cell phone use and social media scrolling. Here is a helpful, short video by Simon Sinek, an author, and motivational speaker, on the addictive effect of excessive cell phone usage. (Cell Phones and Social Media Addiction video.)

Here are some things you can do to help your children at home with constant cell phone usage.

  1. Contact your cell phone provider and inquire about software that will limit your child’s daily cell phone usage.
  2. Have conversations with your child about appropriate cell phone use, posting on social media sites, and establishing parameters for use.
  3. Monitor your child’s cell phone for social media content.
  4. Talk with other parents about social media issues and work together to establish boundaries for your children.
  5. Contact a guidance counselor or psychologist if you are concerned about your child’s cell phone use. They will work with your child to develop strategies to minimize their addiction.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the high school administration at any time if you have questions or concerns.

Best regards,

Dr. Sandra Sepe
Mr. Matthew Mello