According to the Mayo Clinic, 97% of teenagers are on at least one social media platform, with 45% of teenagers reporting that they are online almost constantly. Social media is an important, but consuming, part of being a teenager today. While there are positive aspects to social media use, like keeping in touch with friends, it is important that parents and teens also recognize the harms that come with social media. A 2019 study of American children 12 to 15-year-olds found that those who spend more than three hours a day using social media might be at heightened risk for mental health problems.
Parents should consider these tips to maintain healthy social media use.
- Agree on reasonable boundaries. This may include where teens have access to devices, when they can be on social media and what platforms they can use. Reasonable boundaries can protect a teen's mental health and protect them from online dangers.
- Keep an open dialogue. Ensure that your teenager knows you are a safe place and it is okay talk to you about anything he or she encounters online.
- Pray with your children for wisdom. Pray with your kids that they may be wise and discerning with the content that they view and share.