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3 Truths Parents Need to Know about Teen Social Media Use

Since the legal age to use most social media platforms such as Facebook, Tiktok, and Instagram is 13, as soon as your children become teenagers, it is likely they are going to want to set up an account on at least one of these platforms, if not all of them. They will be especially keen to start an account on the platforms their friends use.

This shouldn’t be a problem; after all, it’s perfectly within the law, and even if you are their parent and technically would have final say over what they do until they reach 18, if they have their own devices it will be difficult to prevent them from doing so entirely. It is far better to allow it but to monitor social media usage by ensuring you have their passwords or can be their friends or connections. They may not like it, but it’s an excellent way to protect them as much as possible.

There are some truths that all parents are going to need to know about social media and about their teen’s use of it, so read on for more information.

Cyberbullies

Sadly, just as in real life, bullies exist online. They are known as ‘cyberbullies,’ and they can be extremely cruel, making rude comments on posts, tagging people in unkind memes, or sending bullying private messages, for example. Although it’s easy for a parent to tell their child to just ignore the bully, the fact that most of what this bully will do is done publicly (because this is social media, after all) means that your teen can soon become extremely upset and uncomfortable.

Keep checking on your teen’s account and, if they seem down or reluctant to use social media, try to find out why this is. There might be a cyberbullying issue going on which, if left to fester, can cause mental health problems and could result in Ignite Teen Treatment being required.

Too Much Screen Time Is Bad

Parents already know not to let their younger children have too much screen time since there are many other things they could and should be doing, including getting exercise and enjoying other hobbies.

For teenagers, though, screen time can dramatically increase since they will be using social media much more. This can have a detrimental effect on mental health, particularly if they are using their mobile devices in bed (the blue light from these screens reduces our body’s ability to sleep well, plus they will get getting less sleep in general).

Imposing limits on how much time your teen can use their social media accounts for is one way to tackle this issue, but it can be problematic, especially as they get older. Another wayis to ensure they have other interests; try to talk to them about their likes and dislikes and find a hobby they would suit them.

There Are Predators Online

Sadly, as much as the internet should be a place of fun and learning, it can also be hazardous, and many predators lurk online. These people might try to have your teen send them inappropriate videos or images, or they might pretend to be someone they aren’t to meet up with them and potentially do them harm.

This is something that should be discussed with your child before they start to use the internet regularly. It will be an awkward conversation to have, but a necessary one.

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