The Effects of Social Media on Kids

There’s a growing amount of research pointing to the fact that smartphones and social media are undermining the well-being of our kids when borders, boundaries, and safeguards are not enacted. Recently, the American Psychological Association released a report on the science of how social media affects our youth, specifically looking at the risks associated with content, features, and functions. One of the opening paragraphs of the report says, “Platforms built for adults are not inherently suitable for youth. Youth require special protection due to areas of competence or vulnerability as they progress through the childhood, teenage, and late adolescent years.” The report warns that chronological age is not directly associated with social media readiness. In other words, just because a platform requires a child to be thirteen in order to download the app, that doesn’t mean it is safe and harmless. Parents, are you tracking with the data that will help your parent wisely?