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Social media is constantly running in the background of life. We can share, snap, tweet, like and reblog at all hours of the day. According to a British Psychological Society, approximately 90 percent of teenagers are on social media. Constantly seeing what their peers are doing on a day-to-day basis can be damaging to their mental health.
Lara Jakobsons, PhD, Psychologist at NorthShore, discusses the effects that social media can have on teenagers’ mental health:
With social media a simple click away, how can parents help their teens? Dr. Jakobsons suggests:
While social media can be harmful, there are benefits that can come from it. Social media offers a safe environment and support for teenagers, which they may lack in traditional friendships. Marginalized adolescents – such as lesbian, bi, gay and transgendered teens or teenagers with disabilities – often benefit from this the most. Finding an online support group or friends who are experiencing the same thing can give them a safe channel to ask questions, express their feelings, etc.
How often do you talk to your teens about social media? Do you keep an eye on your teen’s online behavior?