Ranking Teen Social Media Preference

Brokerage firm Piper Jaffray does a semiannual survey of teen preferences – from shopping to TV watching. We’ve written about it before, and the section on social media usage is always something that we focus on. As a reminder, here are the rankings of the surveyed teens’ “most important” social network from 12 months ago.

Piper teen survey social media

As you can see, Instagram was the clear #1 last year, Twitter preference was moving down, Facebook was stable in the teens and Snapchat was beginning to make inroads.

Fast-forwarding twelve months, the new results are in. This time around the survey polled 10,000 teens about a number of topics, and when it comes to social media the momentum of Snapchat is undeniable. Below is the percentage of teens’ who ranked each network their top social site or app for fall 2016:

snapchat-logo

  • Snapchat – 35%
  • Instagram – 24%
  • Twitter – 13%
  • Facebook – 13%
  • Pinterest – 1%
  • Google+ – 1%

The survey also asked the teens which network they use at least once a month.

  • Snapchat – 80%
  • Instagram – 79%
  • Twitter – 56%
  • Facebook – 52%
  • Pinterest – 25%
  • Google+ – 22%

It’s pretty clear that Snapchat and Instagram are dominating teen time and attention right now. Pictures and video are hot, both in the context of messaging and making permanent posts.

There are more interesting tidbits in the survey. When asked where/how teens consume video/TV, a big time evolution is happening. This shift may be clear to you if you’ve got a teen living in your house. As of this survey, YouTube passed conventional TV for the first time in terms of preferred viewing medium, and Netflix continues to be the leader.

  • Netflix – 37%
  • YouTube – 26%
  • Cable TV – 25%
  • Hulu – 3%
  • Other streaming – 6%

In terms of mobile devices, iPhone continues to dominate and looks to get stronger. 74% of the teens surveyed own an iPhone, up from 69% in April of this year, and 79% said that their next phone will probably be an iPhone. We’re not sure whether the bulk of the responses came in before or after high end Samsung phones started catching fire, but we suspect that it was before.

When it comes to teen social media preference, a couple of things are clear:

  • Pictures and video are where it’s at currently
  • Permanent vs. ephemeral is an important distinction and perhaps more important than public vs. private

With Instagram for example, your account can be public or private, but even if it is private it is public to your friends who can all see it – and make no mistake, what your friends think of your pictures is very important. Instagram is the home for your permanent images, and you may also use it for messaging. If you don’t want that image living on into next week or next year, you’ll probably use Snapchat.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Teens and Anonymous Social Media Accounts

We wrote a post back in 2014 titled, “Why Is My Teen Using a Pseudonym on Social Media?” It was true then, and it’s true now, that some internet users of all ages use anonymous accounts. Some have nefarious reasons (trolling, cyberbullying, illegal or subversive activity), and some are completely harmless and just want to speak their mind or lurk in peace.

anonymousYesterday, a visitor to our website left the comment below in response to the post.

“It’s actually largely inappropriate for teenagers to be using public social media *without* using pseudonyms. Few adults would wish to be held accountable and judged for their thoughts and actions while they were teenagers, but making public posts to the Internet under your real name in fact creates a permanent record.

So teens should be taught to always use pseudonyms as part of learning to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner.”

The commenter, while anonymous, appears to be affiliated with an organization that is dedicated to defending civil liberties online. We’re big fans to teens having civil liberties, including the freedom to post publicly on age-appropriate online forums.

In short, we disagree with the commenter. Here are some of the reasons:

We are doing a disservice to teens if we don’t stress the importance of having a positive online identity. College admissions officers (possible) and future employers (probable) could be checking a teen or young adult’s digital footprint to gain insight into character and qualifications, and they aren’t just looking for negatives. In fact, according to a recent survey, 38% of employers who check social media have found something that makes them more likely to hire a candidate.

According to the same survey, researchers found that it is increasingly a red flag if recruiters can’t find someone online. It is either a signal that the person has something to hide, or a sign that the person is digitally incompetent or unconnected. You don’t want your teen to come off as being either.

Anonymity breeds bad behavior. A study last year found that anonymous internet commenters were twice as likely to use “language that was vulgar, racist, profane or hateful.” Of course, most teens won’t do that, but when you believe you’re anonymous, you might give into the temptation to unload on someone or use inappropriate language.

There is a chance that he will be found out. If your teen is conducting himself online with the belief that nobody knows who he is, and he is found out, that opens up a whole new can of worms. There are hackers out there who are happy to do it just for kicks, or because you’ve posted something that they disagree with. It is called doxing, and it happens.

It’s called social media for a reason. Teens are so active online because that it increasingly how they connect and share with their friends and make new ones. It’s pretty difficult to meaningfully connect with anyone when you’re anonymous.

It is possible to teach teens to respect others and act appropriately in the real world. It’s also possible to do the same with their online activity, and teach them how to stay safe. Rather than hiding behind a pseudonym, let’s teach them to do just that. As parents, it’s our job.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

How To Be a Teen Social Media Star

There are good reasons and bad reasons for trying to elevate your social media status. Good reasons include (1) wanting to present the best possible image to college admissions officers and future employers, and (2) if you have a side business or special talent and you want to get more exposure in order to make it a career, or at least move in that direction.

A not so good reason is if you want to be internet famous for the sake of fame, especially if you are taking risks in order to garner exposure – risks such as putting too much personal information out there, accepting friend requests from strangers or tolerating cyberbullying because that’s part of the game. We don’t recommend any of that.

If you are looking to up your social media game for legitimate reasons, there are some things that you absolutely should do, and some you should avoid. High quality, appropriately sized images are a must. Catchy headlines on your posts will attract more attention. It’s important to know the best days to post your content, and the optimal times.

Our friends at On Blast Blog put together an infographic titled Everything You Need to Be a Social Media Rock Star. Check it out below:

Social Media Cheat Sheet
Credit: On Blast Blog

Click the link above to see tons of interesting and valuable facts about the most popular social networks.

 

 

The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Do you work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Digiwishes – Guest Post at Cyberwise

Our friends at Cyberwise.org are running a campaign this week digiwishescalled #Digiwishes – short for digital wishes. For the campaign they are collecting posts and articles from friends in the digital parenting community (that’s all of us) in which parents and digital parenting pros alike are giving their thoughts on making the online world safer and more hospitable for our young ones.

Our submission is titled “No Parents Who Just Say No”, and you can read the post here. The idea is that each parent will come to the point when their child wants to join the social media crowd. Our hope is that rather than just say “yes” or “no”, parents should say “not yet”, and leave time for both parents and kids to get up to speed before taking the plunge.

We’re big believers in the positive power of social media, but parents need to understand the risks. A little education goes a long way.

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

This Week in Social Media For Parents

Stories for the week ending 11/20/2015

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Twitter polls, a new feature that allows users to post a one question, two answer poll to their feed, is allegedly behind a spate of cyberbullying in Utah schools.  Posts aimed at teasing others are not cool, but we’d caution against blaming the medium rather than getting at the root of the problem – bad behavior.

Twitter polls blamed for cyber-bullying at Utah school

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teen cyberbullyingA new UK teen cyberbullying survey of kids 15 – 16 years old finds that girls are almost twice as likely to experience cyberbullying – 15% for girls vs. 7% for boys. Are boys tougher or nicer? Are girls meaner or more sensitive? Is the data on point? We’re not sure, but a Canadian survey this week found the opposite.

Eleven percent of UK schoolchildren cyberbullied

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Those of you who are aware of COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, may know that it’s a bit of a pain in the neck. The idea that kids under 13 need parental consent to sign up for online platforms that use personal information is the law, and a good one. The fact that parents feel pestered by constantly providing proof/consent lead kids to lie about their age – it’s simpler that way. Plus, parents sometimes say “no”. Can facial recognition smooth out the process?

FTC allows ‘selfies’ for parental consent under COPPA

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Massachusetts may become the latest state to ban schools from demanding students’ social media usernames and passwords. That this is a good idea should be obvious by now. Privacy is a good thing.

Lawmakers consider bill barring schools asking students for social media accounts

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Facebook may use its new facial recognition technology to warn parents when they’re posting pictures of their kids publicly. Watch this space. While this application of facial recognition is a positive, there are all kinds of creepy, privacy-crushing ways that facial recognition can be put to use, if not by Facebook then by others.

Facebook’s Newest Feature Will Stop Parents From Making a Major Mistake

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As protests are spreading across college campuses nationwide, at most schools social media is fueling the fire. The message is sometimes getting distorted, and some students are being targeted. Other students are taking to anonymous social media with threats.

Social media fuels protests at Princeton, other colleges, experts say

 

Students protest new threats posted on Yik Yak, this time at Lewis & Clark

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A new scientific study shows that teens with more Facebook friends suffer from higher levels of stress. A “Facebook Friend Collector” is a thing, but does being one cause depression? There’s probably way more to it than that.

For teens on Facebook, more friends mean more problems

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Instagram Is Tops With Teens Again

The latest twice-annual survey from Wall Street firm Piper Jaffray is out this week detailing teen trends, and as usual our focus is in what is happening with teens and social media. This version of the survey recently took the pulse of 9,400 teens aged 13 – 18.

The headline statistic is that, as has been the case since Spring 2014, Instagram comes out on top as the number one “most important” social network for teens. This should not come as a surprise for parents, and if it does, either your teen is an outlier or you need to spend more time talking about how he/she connects with friends.

teen-social-survey

Our takes on what the results mean for teens (our views, not necessarily fact):

Instagram – IG is winning big time with teens, having taken advantage of a number of trends:

  • Pictures are hot. You can’t post on Instagram without including a picture
  • Posting pics that make you, your food or your locale look cool/glamorous/attractive are hot. Instagram filters are fast and easy to use, and are the standard for effortless in-app editing
  • Messaging is hot, and Instagram allows you to post on your wall, or post privately to 1 – 15 friends
  • Text/prose doesn’t work for all teens. If all you’re looking to do is post or message a pic, you’re either using Instagram, Snapchat or a messaging app

If your teen describes Instagram as her most important social network, she’s in good company.

Facebook – A bit of a yawner here, as FB continues to wane as the most important social platform (bonus for them: they own Instagram). Sure, most teens are on Facebook – for many it was their first social network, some because they need it to check out the cute girl they saw at the mall, others because Facebook login is the standard with many apps. For many teens, there’s too much clutter on Facebook and everyone’s parents and grandparents are there too.

It’s hardly over for Facebook, though, and as teens head off to college and later have families, they’ll be using Facebook more just like most adults now do. For now, Facebook isn’t where the action is for teens, at least not the most important action.

Snapchat – For the second survey in a row, Snapchat is the biggest gainer over the last 6 months. The term “most important” carries a lot of weight here. With Snapchat, there’s no “there” there; not only to pictures disappear after being viewed (unless…) but there is no “wall” to which you’re posting – you’re just sending pics to a friend or group. Nonetheless, a fifth of teens see it as their go-to social app. Our take it that these teens are story tellers who are in the moment, and don’t need to post permanently on a wall or anywhere else. For an important message to a friend or friends, they use Snapchat.

Twitter – The Twitter user base has sorted itself out, and teens who list Twitter as most important are likely either news or sports junkies (Twitter is the best place to get real time info) or outgoing types who always have something to say.

Tumblr – Remember 5, 10 or 15 years ago when amateur writers had their own blog? Those folks are now as often as not found on Tumblr, which functions as a socially connected blogger network.

And what it means for parents:

The idea, which we still hear way to often, that, ”I’m friends with my teen on Facebook so I have a good idea what is going on” is so far behind the times that it just doesn’t mean anything any more. Facebook is only a small part of the picture.

Consider this passage from author Douglas Adams, of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame:

“I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Salmon of Doubt
 

For many parents, Facebook falls into category 2 above; all other social media platforms are part of the inscrutable category 3. If that is true for you, you’re in good company. It’s not too late to catch up in a meaningful way.

Here’s how you do it: Be open minded – just as you shouldn’t assume that Facebook paints an accurate picture of what your teen is doing online, don’t assume that your teen is madly in love with Instagram. Don’t join every social media platform you can and hope to miraculously catch up. Don’t expect to be privy to every post and message – you can’t and shouldn’t.

Ask your teen what she’s doing online, which networks or apps she is using and who she is talking to. Dig deeper into what she likes about her online experiences, and what she doesn’t like. Ask her to show you what she is doing on her phone. Take a genuine interest.

If you need help, we are happy to offer some backup.

 

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

An Adult’s View of One Teen’ Social Media

You might think you know what your teen’s digital footprint looks like to a stranger (you probably don’t but bear with us). By stranger we don’t mean a troll or predator but especially if your kids are younger, that’s a valid concern; we’re talking about someone who will be making a decision about your teen’s future, like a college admissions officer or a future employer. We thought we’d take a look at what a perfectly average teen’s online persona does look like and what that might mean.

thirdparent-social-score
ThirdParent Social Score™

We generated a Social Score report for an American, football playing 16-year old boy last month and after the results were available we had a chance to have a back and forth discussion with one of his parents. The feedback was great. Without going into any more specifics about the teen, we thought we’d use this example to point out a few things that some parents might be missing.

If you’re not familiar with it, our Social Score is a report that evaluates a subject’s public online profile and activity. When a parent signs up, we don’t ask for user names or passwords, or install any software on the teen’s devices. Based on limited information provided by the parents (name, school, town, age, email address) we evaluate the teen’s digital footprint based on age-appropriate safety measures and conduct.

Here’s what we found:

Facebook – Account found; set to private.

Twitter – Account found; set to public. 539 posts (including 9 pictures and 1 video) over 2 ½ years. We flagged two inappropriate posts (one possibly racist, one mildly homophobic). Both were retweets of other accounts – not written by the subject himself.

Instagram – Account found; set to private.

Vine – Account found; set to public. A couple of dozen video loops were posted. All were reposts – no original content. We flagged one video which included extreme adult content of a sexual nature.

Ask.fm – Account found; set to public (all Ask.fm accounts are public). 3 questions answered over a year and a half. Nothing inappropriate found.

Google+ – Account found; set to public. Nothing there. (That is normal – for a couple of years you had to have a Google+ account in order to have a YouTube account)

YouTube – Account found; set to public. No videos posted. Several dozen videos liked; all video game related. 3 channels subscribed to; all teen appropriate content. Nothing inappropriate found.

No other social media accounts or online identities found.

As you can see above, the teen scored an “A” for safety and an “F”, or failed score, for appropriate conduct.

After receiving the Social Score, the parents had the teen delete the inappropriate posts, which is easy to do since the report includes links to or screenshots of problem content or inappropriate interactions. He also set his Vine account to private and changed his Twitter handle to his real name.

A few highlights from our follow up conversations with the parents:

Were the parents aware of his presence on 7 social networks? – They had no idea.

We asked them to ask him why some accounts were private and some were set to public – They did, and he himself had no idea. He doesn’t use Facebook any more and couldn’t remember why it was private. Instagram he does use and didn’t know it was set to private. The others he hadn’t even considered the privacy settings.

We asked them what his reaction was to a stern talking-to – “I think it was a real wake up call for him.”

On why he reposted others’ inappropriate material – It seemed funny at the time.

As we said earlier, this looks like a totally average teen to us – a good kid whose sense of humor tends to be a little racy. There was no cyberbullying and no posts authored by him that were profane or referenced illegal activity. He is also typical in that (a) he doesn’t (until now) give a lot of thought to whether his online activity is public or private, and (b) he hadn’t considered how what he was posting might look to other people.

If a random stranger was trying to evaluate his character based on his Twitter and Vine accounts prior to his parents signing up for a Social Score, we think there’s good chance that the outcome would be less than ideal.

If you’re concerned that your teen’s online activity may be a risk, your can sign up for a Social Score today. You either get the peace of mind knowing that all is okay or an easy roadmap to help fix what needs fixing.

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Facebook Is Not Teens’ Most Important Social Network

And the winner is: Instagram

A high profile teen survey out of the Pew Research Center last week revealed that Facebook is still the most popular social network among teens, with 71% using it. The research runs contra to the growing number of people who claim that Facebook is in decline among teens.

When we discussed the Pew research, we noted that in our opinion, while most teens are in fact using Facebook, that is not where the real action is any more – for teens, at least.

Coincidentally, Wall Street research firm Piper Jaffray released a report this week titled “Taking Stock With Teens” that surveyed a similar, yet much larger teen audience. Regarding social media, the Piper survey asked the question, “Which social network is the most important (for you)?” Facebook is not first. They’re third.

piper-teen-survey-2015

Only 14% of teens say that Facebook is their most important social network, down from 33% 2 years ago, with 47% of teens noting that they use Facebook. Instagram and Twitter are both more important, with Snapchat closing in quickly.

We suspect that the Piper Jaffray research – specifically, how the question was asked – gets at an important distinction. The difference between having an account on a social network and that network being your go-to platform for engaging with your friends can be a large one.

If true, what does this mean for parenting? For starters, if the extent to which you monitor your teen’s online activity is to follow them on Facebook, there’s no way you are getting a clear picture of what they’re doing online.

We don’t think Facebook is going away any time soon. It has a lot of important uses, from being your “official” online identity to being how you log into or comment on other platforms. Add to that the fact that teens who don’t currently have a Facebook account, or do but don’t use it very often, will probably be more active Facebook users once they start a family.

We hope that your teens aren’t doing anything unsafe online, or using social media for cyberbullying or to post inappropriate activity, but if they are, they’re not likely doing it on Facebook.

Check out our demo that shows how we can help you monitor just that.

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Help For Parents Struggling to Monitor Internet Activity

If you’re a parent who is not particularly active in the world of social media and apps, what is your reaction if you encounter one of the following?

  • You see on the news that a local school has been evacuated and a teen arrested after a threat was posted on the anonymous app Yik Yak
  • A local TV station runs a story about a pre teen girl who was abducted after being contacted by an adult on Instagram
  • A nearby high school football team is suspended after taunting another team on Twitter
  • The school sends home a letter warning parents about a rash of cyberbullying incidents, particularly on messaging apps and a social network called fm

tween-online-activitySome of the above are fairly rare, but some are all too common, particularly cyberbullying. As a concerned parent, what do you do if you’ve never used Instagram, never heard or Yik Yak or Ask.fm and generally don’t know where to start when talking to your kids about internet and social media safety and responsibility?

Too often, parents’ reaction is to offer a vague warning to their kids, or shrug their shoulders and hope for the best. After all, your kids are good people, and they know right from wrong.

That response leaves a little to be desired.

Of course, your mindset and response could be more proactive. For example, this week Toni Birdsong from Intel’s McAfee division wrote a great article titled “7 Overlooked Ways To Figure Out What Your Kids Are Up To Online”, which is a very good primer for a parent who wants to get started with monitoring and guiding internet behavior.

All of her suggestions are good, but some of them do pose a challenge for a some parents – they either require at least a minimum level of sophistication in dealing with the internet, apps and social media, or they take time – perhaps lots of time.

What about a software solution? Well, installing keyloggers on devices will take even more time to monitor. Installing blocking or filtering software can invoke evasive behavior that you may never know about.

If you’re a parent who only uses a smartphone to make calls and don’t even have a Facebook account, or find that there are nowhere near enough hours in the days as it is, ThirdParent has a solution for you.

We offer the digital parenting industry’s first solution that outsources the work of finding your child’s public accounts and monitoring activity to a third party (us!). We give you access to a confidential Parent Portal with your child’s accounts and activity, and recommendations on how to correct, fix or clean up unsafe or inappropriate activity.

We do the work for you, while at the same time respecting your child’s privacy by not requiring you to submit user names or passwords. Private content stays private, and we give you the tools to correct the public missteps that have been made, or prevent them from happening in the first place.

When it comes time to apply for college or a job, if there’s a cyberbullying accusation at school, or if you are simply worried about your child staying safe in a world where you don’t spend a lot of time, the ThirdParent solution can put your family in the best position possible.

Have a question? Please let us know.

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

Are Teens Addicted to Social Media?

That’s a loaded question. Here’s how it is specifically loaded in this case.

A study by a UK firm prompted a number of media outlets in the last week to come to that very conclusion – that teens are addicted to social media. The slanted starting point of the articles seems obvious to us, including the fact that several articles were written with the assumption that all teen social social-media-logosnetworking is bad; that the activity in its entirety is a vice comparable to teen drug or alcohol use. IN act, the study’s author himself, who is in the addiction business, uses that conclusion as the basis of the study.

The study itself surveyed 1,000 teens aged 12 – 18. When asked whether they would have trouble giving up the following for a month:

  • Texting – 66% said yes
  • Social Media – 58%
  • Eating junk food – 28%
  • Drinking alcohol – 6%

In our minds, it is not a valid comparison to say that a 14-year-old using Instagram is as damaging as the same child drinking alcohol.

An article at Engineering and Technology Magazine further states:

The report suggests that several elements involved in this habit – the constant pursuit of stimulation, peer approval, instant gratification and elements of narcissism – are all potential indicators of addictive behavior (sic).

The report also said that the constant evolution of technology and the new advances anticipated in 2015 and beyond runs alongside established potentially addictive activities such as alcohol-use and eating junk food.

The author of the study’s point of view is naturally based on his profession, and he is free to do whatever research he chooses. Parents are not in need of their own research study; a simple inventory of your child’s interests and accomplishments will tell you all you need to know.

Texting 10 times per day is not an illness; that is how teens communicate.

Not wanting to give up social media for a month is not indicative of an addiction – that is that is how teens communicate with friends and consume information.

As long as school work is getting done, there are extracurricular interests that don’t involve the phone and there is no indication that your teen’s conduct is unsafe or unkind toward others, their attachment to their phone is no more unhealthy that your attachment to the television. Sure, there could be problems, but it isn’t all a problem. Social media might be addictive, but it is not in itself necessarily an addiction.

If you were asked if it would be a struggle to give up TV for a month, what would your answer be?

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.