On any given morning, you can walk through the eighth-grade hallway at Oakcrest School, an independent, all-girls Catholic school in McLean, and see groups of young women chatting and laughing by their lockers. At Oakcrest, middle schoolers are not allowed to have smartphones on the property. Over in the ninth-grade hallway, high schoolers, who are allowed to use smartphones before and after school, are sitting on the ground, scrolling through their phones.
“The difference between the eighth-grade and the ninth-grade hallway is dramatic,” said Kate Hadley, director of mentoring and parent enrichment.
Social media and the technology that makes it instantly and easily accessible have only existed for little more than decade. Now, doctors, educators, parents and others are learning how social media affects adolescents. As part of their parent enrichment program, Oakcrest invited Dr. Leonard Sax, author of Girls on the Edge and The Collapse of Parenting, to give a talk March 10 titled “Instagram stole my daughter” about the effect of social media on teenage girls.