Teenagers and Social Media- Guide for Parents
More than 90% of teenagers use social media and 71% of them have more than one account in these apps. It’s easy to see why social media is popular, but what are the effects or even risks of using social media on the teenager’s brain.
A study done at UCLA scanned teen’s brains while using social media. They found that the same brain networks that are activated by eating chocolate and winning money are activated when they receive likes on their photos on social media.
In particular, an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens is particularly sensitive to the gratification teens feel on social media when a photo or post has a large number of likes.
How does this information apply you
Reward circuitry in the nucleus accumbens is particularly sensitive in adolescents, this means social media may become addictive since it’s very easy to post pictures or statuses and wait for friends to like or respond to your post.
Teens may even start spending so much time on social media that they neglect more important tasks, such as their schoolwork, activities, and even sleep.
The teenage brain is also very susceptible to peer pressure, social media activities, posting pictures depicting drug or alcohol use or online bullying can have devastating effects on a teenage brain.
Teens may feel pressured to do something because they see evidence and their friends doing them online.
It is important to remember how social media can indirectly encourage these bad habits.How can you use social media responsibly
Overall, social media can be a powerful and beneficial tool to connect with friends and family, you can join people with similar interests for your social media to schedule meetings and learn about world news.
However, it’s important to be aware of the addictive nature of social media, there are also dangers to keep in mind, such as sharing too much personal information or trusting a stranger you met online.
Make sure you use social media responsibly and it can be a fun resource to use.How to help your kids to use social media in a positive way
Parents worry a lot about their children when they watch them browsing social media, but they do not understand the goals of their children nor how to deal with them in a way that satisfies them and discourages them from misusing the phone.
So where do I start? What do I do?
The first is this idea of developing awareness. Learn what apps your kids are using. Learn how to use them. Download them on your phone.
And then, you can come from a framework that’s more objective, rather than coming from a place of fear and telling kids they can never use something.
Taking your kids’ phones away when they take their bed can be an easy way to do this.
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