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To Sam

Am I being to unsocial?

Im an eleven year old, who is about to start high school, but i think im becoming unsocial. Im an only child, so I think that effects me, but for some reason, im starting to shut myself out and just go up to my room. More and more, i just stay on technology, and hardly ever go out. Even when friends are over, i seem to switch off, and use technology. I don't know whether it's because of primary school issues, or just because im a loner, but im starting to become unsocial. What can i do??
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Sam

Hi there,

Although technology can be great at keeping in touch with people, it can also be an easy way to hide from talking to people in real life. Sometimes it can become a cycle where we shut ourselves away too much and it makes it harder to be around others – so we isolate ourselves even more. Breaking out of that cycle is hard, but definitely possible.

Some people are what’s called introverted. This just means they prefer being alone more than being around others. It doesn’t make them weird and it doesn’t mean they hate people, it just means they don’t feel the need to be around them all the time – and that’s okay.

Even introverts need to be around people sometimes – for their own wellbeing but also because we’re forced by school or work. Whether you’re an introvert or not, recognising when you need to spend some time with friends and stop isolating yourself is really important.

Phones and laptops make it really easy to spend hours and hours by yourself – but wanting things to change is a good first step. It might help to remind yourself of the good things about socialising with people – the memories we make, making new friends, the fun we can have and relationships we build up.

You could try something completely new – a sport you’ve never tried or a hobby you can share with friends. Something as simple as organising to go out somewhere can be good to get you back into the habit of socialising. When you want to be around people, technology will be less appealing.

Remember that we’re all different, and it’s okay to spend time by yourself. It’s when you feel it’s becoming a problem that you need to start thinking about changing things. You’ve done that and it’s been great to get your letter as I know this is a problem lots of people struggle with.

If you'd like to talk to someone, remember you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor.

Take care,
Sam

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