What’s your teen doing at this very second? Chances are the answer is either at school, on social media, or both simultaneously. Nowadays, teens communicate with their friends pretty much exclusively through social media and texting. According to a report by Common Sense Media, teens spend about nine hours a day using media for their enjoyment. Teen social media use is off the charts. As a parent, how are you going to protect your teen from the dangers of social media? What dangers are you protecting your teen from?
The dangers of teen social media use
Teens social media use isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, it’s the way teens communicate with each other. On some forms of social media, teens form supportive communities where they can freely express their ideas and start a conversation. However, not all of teen social media use is so well intentioned. Sometimes teen social media use leads to exposure to cyberbullying and sharing more of themselves than they should. Here are some things to look out for while your teen is surfing the web:
- What’s on the web, stays there forever: If your teen has gone to a party and she takes a picture of herself with drug or alcohol paraphernalia that ends up on social media, that picture will be traceable forever. Even if she eventually deletes the photo, internet archives will allow future employers to see that photo long afterwards.
- Be wary of strangers online: Social media makes it very easy for your teen to interact with strangers on a daily basis. Not all of these strangers are well intentioned. Your teen is well aware of the “stranger danger” idea. But you need to show them a few examples of what could happen if they give strangers too much information about themselves (stalking, stealing financial info, etc.)
- Cyberbullying: This is a major issue affecting millions of teens across the world. Cyberbullying is so dangerous because it can happen anywhere. It follows your teen wherever they go, hanging over their head like a shadow. If your teen tries to hide what they are doing on the computer or has recently been behaving strangely (sad for no apparent reason, irritable, etc.) they may be experiencing cyberbullying.
- Damaging to self esteem: On social media, your teen is constantly comparing herself to her peers. These comparisons can damage your teen’s self confidence and self esteem.
Solstice East can help
Teen social media use has its positive aspects and its dangers. If your teen daughter is struggling with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties such as depression, anxiety, and defiance, consider Solstice East. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 that can help your teen find success.
For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058.