Social Media & Adolescent Health

There’s no question that social media is becoming part of the daily fabric of not just adult lives but also teens and tweens.

  • On average, adolescents have 4-7+ hours of screen time on a daily basis (1).
  • By the age of 13, 72% of teens have their own smartphones (1).
  • About 70% of teens report using social media multiple times per day (2).
  • More than 1 in 10 teens say they have been cyberbullied (2).
  • At the same time, more teens than not report that social media has a positive influence on how they feel about themselves (2).

So, what’s the impact on their sense of self, social awareness, well-being and overall health? What do physicians need to know with regard to the connection between social media and health to provide the best possible care to their patients?

Minnesota family physicians raised these very concerns at our 2019 House of Delegates. In response, we pulled together a starting list of online resources.

Social Media Use & Its Effects on Teens & Tweens

Common Sense Media Research Program
Provides parents, educators, health organizations, and policymakers with reliable, independent data on children’s use of media and technology and the impact it has on their physical, emotional, social and intellectual development.

The Center on Media and Child Health Clinician Toolkit
An academic research center whose mission is to educate and empower children and those who care for them to create and consume media in ways that optimize children’s health and development.

Spark & Stitch Institute Screen Time Resources (formerly Mind Positive Parenting)
Resources for parents to address screen time struggles with science and understanding.

LOL, IDK, OMG: Teens and Social Media Platforms
An online fact sheet from University of Minnesota Extension for parents on social media platforms and teen usage.

Special thanks to MAFP members Tanner Nissly, DO, and Laura Miller, MD, for helping curate the above list.

References

  1. Common Sense Media. (2019). Media use by tweens and teens 2019 infographic.
  2. Common Sense Media. (2018). Social media, social life: teens reveal their experiences, 2018.

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Posted by: Emie Buege, communications

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