Teens and Social Media Today
Teens and Social Media today is out of hand for many who abuse it. Any and everything we could ever want to know is accessible through the Internet today. This is an amazing time in our history today where we can learn about virtually anything with the click of a button. However, with all great things there comes the ability to misuse or abuse technology when falling into the wrong hands with the intention to exploit others.
Social media has become one of the fastest growing venues for teens today with snapchat estimates of 92% of teens going online daily with an estimated 24% reporting multiple times daily. The most popular sites for teens include:
The Reality of Teens and Social Media
Teenagers today ages 13-17 send and receive over 30 text messages a day. These social media platforms have become the way in which they communicate and no longer do we see emailing or phone calls the preferred method.
Unfortunately these forms of communicating for teens today can quickly become harmful and with our adolescents lack of maturity can have negative effects as it relate to cyber bullying, sexting, access to pornography and much more.
Educating Teens and Social Media
How can we as adults help our kids to understand the importance of using good judgement and discernment when it comes to social media?
- Be a parent that sets a good example by using social media in a healthy and non harmful way. Set a good example.
- Be a parent less concerned about being your teens friend and more concerned with staying on top of what your teen is doing on these social media platforms.
- Learn and understand these new platforms as they become popular with the teens. Stay educated and up to date.
- Monitor the amount of time your teen uses their phone. Do you see it increasing and affecting other areas of their life such as school, time with family, etc.
- Set limits on when your teen may have their phone. Many parents I work with have decided to make a rule that their teen must turn in their phone to them before bedtime. This helps to ensure that your teen gets the sleep they need and parents are reassured that they are not attempting to be sneaky about their use or who they are communicating with.
The Harmful Effects of Teens and Social Media
Unfortunately there have been several instances of teens who have committed suicide due to online bullying. Also we see a rise in teenagers being targeted by adults disguising themselves as teens in an attempt to engage them in sexual behavior. These are just a few examples to name.
We must all work together as schools, parents communities and therapist to help educate our teens as well as all adults. Your teens are in a fast pace world and require support, limits, supervision and guidance. It’s ok to be that parent that wants to know what your teen is engaging in via these social media platforms. There are several ways to do this while still allowing them the sense of autonomy they desire.
Counseling for Teens and Social Media
Teen Counseling has many benefits and can build a bridge to help parents who are concerned about their son or daughter. I can assist you in understanding effective ways to address these issues, signs that you may not be picking up on with yourself or you teen. I also have several years of experience working with teens and can often create a safe place in counseling for them to open up and talk. Learn more about my approach with teens and how it can help to bring your teen away from the media and back to being a teen.