The Effects of Social Media on Tweens and Teens: What Parents Need to Know

It’s no secret that social media has taken over the world. Virtually everyone has a social media account, and the number of social media users continues to grow each year.  

While social media can be an excellent way for people to stay connected with friends and family, it can also negatively affect tweens and teenagers. 

A study recently published in JAMA Pediatrics found that increased social media use is associated with poorer mental health in adolescents.  

What Research Says About Social Media Use

Forty-five percent of parents surveyed by Middle School Life say they allowed their child to have a phone at age 11 or 12. 

At What Age Should a Child Have a Phone?

As kids grow up, they begin to develop their own identities. Social media plays a significant role in this process for many tweens and teens. 

Online Identities and Identity Development

Many tweens and teens create “perfect” versions of themselves on social media. They only post photos and updates that make them look good and hide any imperfections.  

This behavior can give them a false sense of self-esteem and lead to low self-esteem when comparing their “perfect” online persona to their real-life self. 

A recent study by Middle School Life showed that only 24 percent of parents feel they know “a lot” about their child’s online activity. 

How are Parents Responding to Their Child’s Use of Social Media?

Some experts believe that social media can lead to depression, while others think it can benefit mental health.  

The Effects of Social Media on Teenager

Encourage them to be open and honest with you about their online activity, so you can help them stay safe and healthy. 

Parents Need to Stay Up-to-Date