Does Social Media Harm Teens?

SnapChat. Instagram. YouTube. TikTok. Vimeo. Twitter. According to the U.S Department of Health & Human Services, teens love their social media;over 71% of teens said they use more than one social media platform

With so many teens using so much social media, what adverse effects is it having on them, and what can you do as a parent to reduce the consequences? 

While there’s nothing wrong with your teens enjoying the conveniences, connections and accessibility technology affords them, like most things in life, there’s a good side to technology and a bad side to excessive social media use.

As a parent or guardian, there are steps you can take, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to promote the healthy social media use of your teen.

  • Educate yourself about social media and the specific platforms your kids are using.
  • Establish an age limit for your child to start using social media.
  • Help your teen protect their information online and check their privacy settings often.
  • Talk to your teens about being a responsible social media user. Make sure they’re not posting personal information or inappropriate photos or videos that could jeopardize their safety.
  • Teach your kids how to handle issues like sexting and cyberbullying, and to come to you immediately if it happens.
  • Set rules and healthy boundaries for social media use.

The Harvard Graduate School of Learning offers more tips on how to help your teens navigate the pressure of their digital lives.

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