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Teens and Social Media

Recently, new studies have been released regarding the impact of social media use on teens.  You may find the results surprising:

Compulsive Texting Linked to Poor School Performance in Adolescent Girls

Adolescent girls who text compulsively are more likely than their male peers to do poorly in school, according to new research by the American Psychological Association. The study is the first to identify compulsive texting as significantly related to poor academic adjustment.

Impact of Tweeting and Instagramming on Teen Mental Healthteens-phones-text-technology

Adolescents are already at a time of great stress and social pressure, and social media usage may only be making it worse, according to several recent studies drawing a connection between social media use and depression.

Teens’ Night-Time Use of Social Media Risks Harming Mental Health

Researcher says ‘digital sunset’ might improve sleep quality.

Share your thoughts and suggestions around teens’ use of social media with us – healthykidstoday@wphf.org

Monitoring Kids Social Media

article-2295594-18C48A75000005DC-511_634x423Posts, status updates, comments, instant messages, video uploads, tweets and texts have become a regular part of our kids’ lives. As the popularity of these social networks grows, so do the risks of using them. The reality is that kids start using and developing online relationships around the age of 8. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 22 percent of kids log into their social media sites more than 10 times a day. Just as we prepare our kids for the real world, we also have to prepare them for the online world.  These tips from Parenting.com give us the best internet safety strategies for kids and parents.

No Underage Facebooking

  • Did you know nobody under the age of 13 is permitted to join Facebook?

Check Privacy Settings 

  • Make sure that not only your privacy for Facebook is set to the strictest level but also for the internet settings. This not only protects the computer user, but also protects from the threats of viruses.

Create Ground Rules

  • The best way for families to agree on ground rules is to create a contract for all parties to sign. Breaking them should not have a lesser consequence than breaking a rule in the real world.

Keep the Computer in a Central Location

  • Place the computer in the kitchen or living room to make it easier to keep tabs on any online activity.

Monitor the Picture Your Child Posts Online 

  • If  your child wants to share photos online, make sure you know exactly which pictures are being posted. Once a photo goes online it is very difficult to take it down.

Talk to Kids about Online Dangers

  • Have an open line of communication is an essential first step to letting your kids be online independently . Remember everyone is a stranger online.

Get to Know the Technologies 

  • Its the parents responsibility to know exactly what features are included in the gadgets kids are using. They have gained a mastery for technology so quickly, you have to learn to keep up!

 

Do you have tips of your own?  Leave them in the comment section below, post them on our Facebook or tweet them to us at@HealthyKids2Day.

Responsible and Safe Social Media Use for Kids

child on computerOur kids are growing up in a world where technology is advancing in an ever-rapid pace and their understanding of it seems to come second nature.  With that has come the world of social media.  Social media can be a great tool for connecting with friends, learning about online interaction and encouraging self-expression.  However, social media sites also come with some inherent dangers if they are not used properly.

It is important, as parents, to make sure that our kids understand the complexities of social media and how that can affect them in the real world.  Healthy Kids Today has compiled a list of tips for parents to go over with their kids on how to use social media in a responsible and safe way.  Let us know some other ways you help your kids use social media responsibly in the comment section below.

  • Know the age restrictions – Facebook states that it is for ages 13+.  Although they have no real way of enforcing this, as a parent you can.  Most social network sites have some sort of age requirements or suggestions.
  • Check privacy settings – All social media sites have privacy settings.  For example, on Facebook you can set your account to have to approve all photos or comments that you are tagged in.  You can also set your profile to only be seen by people who are already friends.  Go over these settings and explain what they mean to your kids.
  • Online reputation and thinking before you post – Talk to you kids about what an online reputation is.  When people post online (pictures, links and even plain text) it can be reposted by others and very hard, nearly impossible, to get rid of it even if you delete the original post.  Impress upon them, that what you say and do online can last forever.  With that, it is important to think before you post.  If they are angry and want to attack someone online, teach them to take a breather and step away from the computer.  It is not appropriate nor a good decision to use social media to bully someone even if they did it first.  This also goes for sexually suggestive language or pictures.  It is never a good idea to post anything that is sexually suggestive.  Impress on your kids that colleges, universities and even employers are looking at social media profiles before they hire or admit students.  Those types of posts can hurt you long after you post them.
  • Create ground rules for social media use – Create house rules for what your kids can and cannot do with their social media profiles.  This should include times that they can and cannot be on social media and the length of time they are allowed to stay on it.  This is another opportunity to go over what is appropriate to post.  Try writing out a contract and having everyone, including parents, sign it.  Display the contract near the computer so that everyone sees it.
  • Keep the computer in a central location – Having the computer in a central location where you can watch your kids, even if it’s passively, will help curb inappropriate use.  You will be able to monitor what your child is doing and they will be less inclined to do things they know they aren’t allowed to do.
  • Be a good example for your kids – Practice what you preach.  If you are living by the rules you have put in place, then your kids are more likely to emulate them.  Be the example you want your kids to be.