There is long list of the ways tech can harm our preteens and teens, but the effects of social media on our kids is the most concerning. As suicide, depression, and anxiety rates increase at alarming rates among adolescents, much of the evidence points to smartphones and, in particular, access to social media sites.
Social media fuels the insecurities of our adolescents at a time when they are most vulnerable. It creates a never-ending feedback loop that is often filled with unrealistic images, opportunities for comparison, and a need for constant affirmation.
Parents are strongly cautioned against allowing preteens access to social networking sites. The sites suggest that 13 should be the minimum age for joining, and the Wait Until 8th public interest campaign to discourage parents from providing their kids with cell phones until 8th grade is growing by leaps and bounds.
By high school, allowing some social media becomes more reasonable. Our teens do need to learn how to manage social media because it will be an inevitable part of their adult experience.
Better they begin with our guidance.