Social media and teenagers
The positives and dangers posed by the online world to young people
Many adults link the rise in mental health problems amongst children to the use of social media. This has been reinforced by numerous newspaper and media headlines.
Yet it is really important to note that there is no reliable scientific evidence to support this link. Social media isn’t necessarily the issue - it can be a positive force for good when used intentionally and in moderation.
Parents and carers can make informed decisions about what’s best for their children’s health and wellbeing by understanding the pros and cons.
Social media has brought our world closer together, offering rich possibilities for real-time connection and many ways to learn and have fun. There are lots of positives for young people. These include:
- Networking and sharing information and experiences with friends
- Instant access to information
- A highly creative medium and gateway to the world
- A way to meet new people and connect with like-minded peers
- Access to the buying and selling of goods
The online world is vast, and it continues to expand at an incredible rate. With this growth comes a number of potential dangers to be mindful of. Threats to young people include:
- Access to pornography and ‘hateful’ content
- Online grooming and sexting
- Harassment, abuse and cyber-bullying
Supporting positive mental health
As adults, it’s important that we take time to understand the effect that social media use, and inhabiting an increasingly online world, can have on our young people’s mental health.
Many teenagers are vulnerable: they may be struggling with feelings of isolation, may have had to deal with difficult family situations, or may have experienced trauma in some form.
The online world can provide a much-needed outlet for teens; a safe place to turn to others for support and encouragement, and to share experiences. But it needs to be overseen.
Through open conversation and working together with our young people, we can set comfortable boundaries and build digitally healthy households.
Social media and teenagers related articles
Life after lockdown Wellbeing Action Plan
During the coronavirus pandemic, we have all been through enormous change and some of us may experience further uncertainty and change in the coming weeks and monthsView resource
Supporting children returning to school (parents & carers)
Guidance for parents and carers on how to help your child prepare to go back to schoolView resource
Coping with self-harm
This guide includes information on the nature and causes of self-harm and how to support a young person for parents and carersView resource
Asking for help
Tips for young people on when it’s time to talk about their mental health, or if they want to help a friendView resource
Social media and teenagers
A practical guide for parents and carers of teenagers on using social mediaView resource
Wellbeing Action Plan (child)
A simple, resource to help young people keep themselves well and get them through difficult timesView resource
Guide to depression for parents and carers
This booklet aims to help recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their childView resource
Wellbeing Challenge activity pack (primary)
An activity pack for children, filled with fun activities following the Five Ways to WellbeingView resource
Wellbeing Challenge activity pack (secondary)
An activity pack for young people, filled with fun activities following the Five Ways to WellbeingView resource
Warning signs poster
A bold A3 poster showing the warning signs that tell you when someone may be depressed. This poster could save a life.View resource
Featuring useful facts, figures and information, this booklet also contains sources of help and what not to say to people experiencing depressionView resource
Parents guide to depression (Welsh)
This booklet aims to help parents recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their childView resource
Was this article helpful?Your feedback helps us create better content so if this article helped, please leave a like below and let others know.
The Charlie Waller Trust
The Charlie Waller Trust is a trading name of The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales 1109984. A company limited by guarantee. Registered company in England and Wales 5447902. Registered address: The Charlie Waller Trust, Rear Office, First Floor, 32 High Street, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 3JD.
Copyright © 2020 The Charlie Waller Trust. All rights reserved.