Social Media Dangers

Recently, a court in the United Kingdom ruled that Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook) played a role in the death of a teenage girl. She had been seeing suicidal content for months, even copying part of her final words directly from a post she had saved on Instagram. The role that social media plays in young people's lives is incredibly significant. And while there is no single correct way to manage social media use, parents must learn to recognize the dangers of social media and have and open, ongoing conversations with their children in order to keep them safe.

Beyond social media safety basics, now parents also have to keep up with the trending challenges on TikTok. Some past challenges, like the lethal Tide Pod challenge, gained national attention. The latest challenge is the NyQuil Chicken Challenge, encouraging young people to cook chicken in NyQuil, presumably to get high off the fumes. Other challenges encourage teens to steal bathroom appliances like paper towel or soap dispensers from public restrooms. The key elements to these challenges are peer pressure and receiving attention on social media. But according to psychologist Dr. Danielle Dick, the most important thing that parents can do to protect their children from these challenges is talk with them.

To read expert advice on how to talk with children about these challenges, click here.