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Losing friends because I don’t have a smartphone

February 7, 2017 | By | 3 Replies Continue Reading
SmartphoneBecause she is the only one without a smartphone in her group, a pre-teen feels left out.

QUESTION

Hi,

OK, I don’t really know how old I’m supposed to be to ask but I need advice. I’m 12 years old and you know that a lot of 12-year-olds olds are more ‘mature’ than the 12-year-olds in the 90’s. My puberty is going well but that isn’t what I meant about mature.

Basically, all my friends recently got iPhone 7s (which I find ridiculous because we are only 12) and they have Instagram. They started neglecting me because I do not have an account there.

Before this, we used to fool around so much but now when I join them, they just say “Go away,” “Leave, don’t come here,” or “You’re annoying.” I do not show it but this hurts me. How do I become close with them now?

Signed, Betsy

ANSWER

Hi Betsy,

I’m glad to hear from you. You sound like you’re mature and levelheaded. Your parents must be very proud. Technically, social media like Instagram have age requirements of thirteen and older, although some younger people do have accounts.

Adolescence is a time of great change, physically, emotionally and socially. Studies show that people who use social media more spend less time socializing face-to-face. Your best memories of your teenage years will come from socializing with your friends, hanging out, doing activities. When you’re an adult, you’re not going to look back on Facebook and Instagram as your fondest memories.

I think you’ll be happier finding friends who treat you well. People who say unkind things like you wrote aren’t your real friends. You deserve better. When you feel like you have to do all the work to be close to people, or that you have to change who you are, that’s a good indication you’re with the wrong group of people. There’s nothing wrong with you. If you were annoying, they would have never been your friends in the first place.

Look around at girls in your class and think about the friendly, kind ones. Which of your classmates makes you smile and feel good about yourself? These are the girls who will make the best friends.

You have a good head on your shoulders. I know you’ll be able to find the right friends.

Signed, Amy Feld


*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.


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Category: Child and adolescent friendships

Comments (3)

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  1. batphink says:

    Don’t worry too much there are others without a smart phone like myself,though I do admit it is a but of a pressure thing to own a fancy phone.

    At this time in y life I am not bothering as nobody calls me anyway,I guess it is something I have to accept 🙁

  2. marinakis says:

    hi…sweety, at 12 yrs old ur never mature in the 90’s, ur never mature in 2017, and ur never mature even in…..2055!…best of luck with friends though!

  3. Sandra says:

    Betsy,
    Amy’s advice is absolutely right! I hope you put your efforts into finding friends who don’t base their relationships on social media or what kind of mobile device you have.

    I’m much older than you are, but when I deactivated my Facebook account last year, a lot of my friends were upset with me too — so I can relate to your letter.

    For a while, those friends kept telling me it was harder to keep in touch with me when I wasn’t on Facebook, but I reminded them that we can always talk on the phone, email each other, or actually get together in person. Once we made the effort — and got back into the habit of getting together in person — those friendships have become even better and stronger.

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