How to Help Your Teen Navigate Social Media

It’s a well-known fact that navigating social media for today’s teens is a difficult task. Almost everyone has access to at least one social media account, and many teenagers are posting multiple times a day. Although it’s important to connect with friends, studies show that extended time spent on social media can impact teenager’s social wellbeing, mental health, and self-perception. If you’re worried about the amount of time your teenager is spending on social media, check out these tips on ways to support them.

Implement a No Phones Rule

Make sure that at mealtimes, or when you’re watching TV as a family, nobody has their phone out. It’s easy for social media to creep into these spaces, but by banning phones you are reclaiming some time for your teen that is social media-free.

Talk to Them

Ask them outright if they are concerned by anything they see on social media, or by their own usage. You can easily check their screen time, and the two of you could agree on what is a reasonable amount of daily screen time. Come up with activities they can do that aren’t screen-based, whether it’s some form of physical exercise, cooking the family meal, or learning a new skill such as knitting.

Celebrate All Bodies

Make sure that your teen sees unretouched bodies and faces, whether it’s through purchasing magazines that don’t retouch their models, or simply through family snaps put up around the house. One of the most destructive elements of social media can be its ability to convince teenagers that they need to change their bodies to fit into the online ideal, so you can gently challenge this by ensuring that not all of the bodies your teenager sees are perfected, filtered versions.