From Our Team
Posted on November 9, 2015 by Bianca De León
I remember as a teenager, my mother complained that I spent all day with my friends at school and the minute I got home, I immediately hopped on the telephone with them. She would often question, “What else is there to talk about when you’ve spent all day with them?” Of course for us, there was plenty to discuss. My friends and I would party line other friends and talk about nothing in particular and everything that was happening in our lives. It was a way for my friends and me to be connected even when we weren’t in the same room.
For most teens, peers are everything. Their opinion matters most. Research suggests that peer relationships can become the most important and influential relationships in the lives of teenagers. Most teens today may not know what party line means; however, they still use their phones to connect with friends. Cell phones are now used for texting, email, and access to social media. A recent study by the Pew Research Center indicates the most common communication tools teens use are texting (55%), instant messaging (27%), and social media (23%). In a recent conversation with a coworker, she shared that her 15 year old son sent 1,000 texts to his friends in one week. Cell phones now provide teen’s immediate access to their peers, causing them to check their phones more frequently, also known as “lurking”. This behavior has become a growing concern for parents.
Most parents today did not grow up with cell phones, much less social media. If parent don’t use social media on a daily basis, it can seem like unchartered territory. While social media is a positive tool for most teens, the occasional negative post can loom largely for them. Here are some ideas to guide and monitor your teens social media use to ensure it is a positive, and healthy communication tool:
While many may wish for it, social media is not going away. Neither are the relationships teens seek out from their peers. As parents, it will be important to understand how technology impacts your teen’s life to ensure positive and healthy outcomes.
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