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  • Checks social media first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

  • Loss of interest in other activities

  • Preoccupied with being online

  • Compulsively share on social media (where they are, what they’re doing, who they’re with)

  • Use social media to escape real life problems

  • Anger and agitation when not able to be online

  • Overly concerned with popularity of social media posts (how many likes a post gets)

  • Lie about how much time is spent online

  • Trouble cutting back on social media use despite attempt to limit use


  • Talk openly with your teen about social media and the feelings associated with its use.

  • Set aside screen-free zones, like the dinner table and bedrooms, and make sure everyone (including adults) abides by them.

  • Be a good role model. Show your teen by example that it’s important to unplug regularly and to find offline activities they enjoy.

  • Keep tabs on your teen’s social media accounts. For a younger teen, help them set up an account and install all privacy restrictions. For an older teen, know which social media sites they are on, talk with them about what to post and what not to post, and create ground rules.

  • Take time to learn about social media—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Educate yourself so you can be proactive in talking to your teen about what’s new (and possibly dangerous) in cyberspace.

    This list of tips is from Newport Academy

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Teaching Your Kids to Be Safe Online: A Hasty Primer

The New York Times

  • Communicate to your kids that digital devices deserve a special kind of respect.

  • Consider setting rules on when and where your kids have access to devices or specific apps.

  • Create a schedule so that kids are using their devices during periods when you can provide the most oversight.

  • Consider a technology agreement for each child.

  • Be sure to talk to your kids about privacy — or lack thereof — and tone.

  • Take some time to think about what you’re comfortable  

  • It might be time to talk about pornography.

  • And remember: Kids will be kids, including when they’re online.

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Looking for ‘Likes’: Teens and Social Media Addiction

Newport Academy

  • Scientists are discovering an increasing number of troubling links between social networking and mental health challenges. These range from distress to teen depression.

  • Furthermore, research is also zeroing in on the effects of social media addiction on the teenage brain.

  • Proper treatment is key and these social media addiction facts will keep you informed on the warning signs."

Learn how social media affects the brain, signs of addiction and what parents can do to help children. 

Read Full Article

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More Evidence Links Social Media Use to Poorer Mental Health in Teens

US News & World Report


  • "...Social media "addiction" is also an emerging problem, and "several cross-sectional studies have shown that high proportions of youth appear to be addicted to their smartphones."

  • Other studies suggest that this kind of heavy reliance on smartphones is tied to a higher risk for suicidal thoughts or self-harm.

  • Numerous studies have also found that as hours per day increase on smartphones, laptops and other "screens," rates of happiness, life satisfaction and self-esteem fall.

  • Excessive screen time also seems to be eroding teens' ability to get good sleep, which might also have negative mental health effects, according to the researchers. 

Read Full Article

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How social media affects the mental health of teenagers


  • Social media can affect teenagers in both positive and negative ways. 

  • Research has found that social media use can affect self-esteem, and make typical teenage pressure and bullying worse, but it can also connect isolated teens and help them find supportive networks. 

  • Overall, it's important to set limitations and communicate openly with teens about social media use. 

Read Full Article

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Does Social Media Cause Depression?

Child Mind Institute


  • Evidence is mounting that there is a link between social media and depression.

  • In several recent studies, teenage and young adult users who spend the most time on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms were shown to have a substantially (from 13 to 66 percent) higher rate of reported depression than those who spent the least time.

  • These studies show a correlation, not causation. But it’s worth a serious look at how social media could be affecting teenagers and young adults negatively." 

Read Full Article

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