There has been a lot of discussion about the influence of social media on relationships, school, and mental health. The impacts of engaging in social media has undoubtedly changed parenting and posed many challenges for today’s teens and parents. It’s estimated that 75% of teens in America today have at least one social media profile. The questions most parents ask are, what is the impact and how can I mitigate the negative effects of my teenager’s social media use.
In a time where it seems impossible to not be part of the internet, social media and the fast moving pace of the world, parents have a real and valid concern. Recent studies have shown that the dominant concerns for parents of teens using social media are:
- Divulging too much information online
- “Facebook” or “Instagram” depression
Parents can become educated on the advantages and disadvantages of social media. It has also been recommended that parents engage in social media themselves to give themselves a better understanding of what the cyber world looks like and what teenagers are doing there. It is essential that parents monitor their teen’s social media usage and use open discussions with their adolescents about the reality of what can happen on the internet. There are online courses for parents to know the warning signs of the above mentioned concerns and how and where to get their teen help if they need it.
Like every other challenge faced of raising teens, the digital world is one that can be met and overcome with the opportunity to learn proper etiquette and behaviors that can foster a healthy environment online and on social media.