A new report is available from Common Sense Media
. The report is on social media use of teenagers based on a nationally representative survey of more than 1000 13- to 17-year olds in the United States. The major findings of the survey are: an increased usage of social media by teenagers compared to the survey made six years ago, a generally positive experience is reported by teenagers who use social media, and a continuing concern regarding a lack of self-regulation in using social media devices.
Social media keep us connected. And in general, there is no doubt that this additional means of communication is beneficial. The report shows first of all that daily usage has increased over the past few years although the percentage of users has decreased a bit. Teenagers are checking social media much more frequently.
Another finding is that social media seems to make teenagers less depressed. This is only expected from any additional means of communication or expressing oneself.
One disconcerting fact is that teenagers are beginning to prefer social media communication over face-to-face:
Perhaps, social media provides less constraints on time and space unlike face-to-face conversations which require meeting a person at a specific time and place. A much bigger concern, however, is the apparent lack of self-regulation in using social media. Teenagers appear to be unable to silence social media devices during tasks that may be harmed by social media like sleeping and doing homework.
What is surprising is that the above findings are coming from the teenagers themselves who are therefore much aware of this problem. In fact, the report goes much farther by citing that teenagers are likewise aware of their own parents' addiction to social media.
One in three teenagers now wish that their parents demonstrate self-regulation in the use of social media devices. That number is quite astounding. Our children are now much aware that we, their parents, are slowly becoming social media junkies.
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