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Mom of three fosters rescued dogs and is helping to drive the conversation about digital parenting as VP of Consumer Marketing for Content Watch.
July 24, 2012Net Nanny for Android 2.0
Jun 04, 2017
You may have heard the newswire loudly broadcast headlines from a new study #StatusOfMind stating that Instagram was the worst social platforms for teens, which is true as far as some aspects of the Instagram platform, but what was sorely missed by all the national media was the full story. I recognize that there are many concerning issues with Instagram, in fact, we recently blogged about how Instagram is a magnet for cyberbullying. However, even reputable news organizations did not take the time to share the results of a full study, instead, they were too busy newsjacking sensational headlines.
Source: Status of Mind study
Parents need to understand the entire reality of the social platforms (good and bad) that impact all of our lives but especially our children. Social media use is highest among 16-24 years old and these years are also critical in the foundation of emotional and psychosocial development. In fact, numerous studies have identified these years of the teen brain development to be a period of significant changes in brain structure and function; especially sensitive to stimuli and lacking impulse control. Studies have also identified that social media is more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol.
Not all the news is bad on the effects of social media on our children; social media can also promote a sense of community and even facilitate emotional support from friends your child has met in person or virtually. But due to the risks associated, if safeguards are not put in place, they can also have significant problems for young people’s mental health and well-being. Social media has forever changed the way we connect with each other, with social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram now used by one in four people worldwide. Most young people have never known a world without instant access to the internet and social platforms.
The #StatusofMind: Social Media and Young People’s Mental Health surveyed 14-24 year-olds asking them about five of the most popular social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube. Each participant was asked to rank the different platforms that impact their health and wellbeing, both positive and negatively. Results are listed below:
Each of the social media platforms profiled have both negative and positive attributes. Only you know your child and which platforms with the right boundaries and safeguards make sense for them to participate.
The real story that was missed from the #StatusofMind study by both national media and digital bloggers are the truly brilliant recommendations that parents and technology companies need to embrace and support to bring about real change. I have highlighted below my four favorites: