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Giving Your Kids Electronics for the Holidays? Before You Do, World-Renowned Medical Doctor Shares Ten ‘911’ Tips to Protect Them from the Dangers of Social Media

Boom Boom Cabalona

By: Boom Boom Cabalona, “X” Divinagracia, Christopher Miranda


We all know that kids wish for the latest smartphones, laptops and tablets for the holidays. But did you know that those very gifts can turn your children into addicts and practically ruin their lives forever? For the first time, Brian Boxer Wachler, MD, a prominent Beverly Hills medical specialist reveals his own social media addiction, and because of his ‘in-the-trenches’ experience, offers 10 tips to protect your kids (and you!) from the dangers of the virtual world of social media. In his explosive new book, INFLUENCED: The Impact of Social Media on Our Perception (Rowman and Littlefield; $27.95 Hardcover), Dr. Boxer Wachler, aka “Dr. Brian,” confesses that he was so ensconced in the deep, dark, depths of all things digital, his wife and daughters held an intervention because he was more concerned with his number of views, likes, shares and followers then his family. Then reality set in that, as a spouse and parent, he missed out on significant experiences and events with his family that could never be recaptured.

“When it comes to our kids,” attests Dr. Boxer Wachler, “social media can make them as ill as cigarettes and can be even be as dangerous as using a gun! Social media can ruin a child’s life…and we owe it to them to protect, guide, and control what they see over the world wide web.” He wrote INFLUENCED as a 911 call for everyone, including parents, to stop and shut out the slippery slope fantasy associated with social media platforms. “Social media is like fire,” says Dr. Boxer Wachler. “You can use it for illumination or it can badly burn you.” In an interview, Dr. Brian can offer 10 Tips for protecting kids from the dangers of social media:

1. Set limits on social media. Just like we were given rules for watching TV as a kid, the same rules apply for social. Give them specific time to play with social media and do not let them engage during homework time or before they go to bed.

2. Turn off the smart phone at dinnertime. Make family time sacred and encourage real conversations with your kids. By doing that you’ll help develop realtime human social skills

3. Don’t engage with a cyberbully. Engaging with them which increases the likelihood of self-harm and suicide

4. Beauty imagery on social isn’t beautiful. One third of teen girls feel worse about their bodies as it normalizes their opinion of altered body images and body dysmorphia. Your kids are 200% more likely to have an eating disorder if they’re glued to perfect body images.

5. Social Security numbers are NOT social. Identity theft is real and make sure your kids understand the dangers of sharing social security numbers.

6. Kids don’t need credit card info. Children should never be allowed to give credit card information; which can be a catalyst for stealing identities.

7. Never give out your home address. We know that kids need to learn their home address, but they don’t need to share it with anyone online. Teens have been killed or injured as a result of posting their whereabouts.

8. Never post pictures of your vacation—while on vacation. If criminals can see where you are in real time, they can burglarize your home while you’re away.

9. Violent Video Games Can Normalize Violent Behavior – Playing violent video games make children and teens more violent.

10. Social media can polarize family and friends – Trending topics such as politics can tear a family and their kids apart. Keep the online jargon as neutral as possible


Four-year-old Kenzo Wildoer, ready for Christmas. He is the son of Kristoffer Wildoer and grandson of VT columnist Maria Girlie Pascual.


Merry Christmas from the wonderful Rivas siblings: David, Nichole, Rafael and Princess Isabella, children of Jaime and Chie Rivas.


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