Research + News

Meet The Teens Lobbying To Regulate Social Media

Emma Lembke has teamed up with Brown University sophomore Aliza Kopans to found Tech(nically) Politics, a youth lobbying and advocacy group that pushes for social media regulation. Read the article here.

1 In 10 Teens Have Sexted, Many See Porn By 6th Grade

A high number of preteens and teens in the United States have viewed pornography and many have also sent or received nude or seminude photos — sexting — over their smartphones, a new study reveals. Read the article here.

Connection, Creativity And Drama: Teen Life On Social Media In 2022

Majorities of teens credit social media with strengthening their friendships and providing support while also noting the emotionally charged side of these platforms. Read the research here.

Kids’ Screen Time Rose By 50% During The Pandemic: 3 Tips For The Whole Family To Bring It Back Down

A newly released review comparing children’s screen time before and during COVID, shows children’s screen time spiked by a whopping 52% between 2020 and 2022. Read the article here.

Meta Is Trying To Prevent ‘Suspicious’ Adults From Messaging Teens On Facebook And Instagram

Facebook is also changing the default privacy settings for younger teens. Read the article here.

This School Took Away Smartphones. The Kids Don’t Mind.

Here’s what happened when a Massachusetts school decided smartphones were splintering its community. Read the article here.

Protecting Your Teenagers Online

The dangers of the Internet are real. Read the article here.

How Cyberbullying Affects Your Teen’s Academic Performance

3 ways to help your teen cope with online hate to improve their grades. Read the article here.

TikTok Promotes Toxic Diet Culture Among Teens, Young Adults

Study authors from the University of Vermont found that the most viewed content on TikTok related to either food, nutrition, or weight largely perpetuates a toxic diet culture among young users. Read the article here.

Increasing Number Of San Diego Teens Falling Victim To ‘Sextortion’ Scams

Kids and teens are being targeted by a dangerous scam online called sextortion, a crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute private and sensitive material if one does not provide them with money. Read the article here.

Cracking The Emoji Drug Code: How Teens Are Using Emojis To Buy And Deal Drugs

A mother is bringing attention to how emojis can be used as a secret code to purchase and sell drugs after she lost her son to a drug overdose. Read the article here.

New Survey Underlines TikTok’s Popularity With Teen Users

According to the latest survey data from Piper Sandler, which incorporates responses from over 14,500 US teens, TikTok is their primary social app of choice, dwarfing Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, which all continue to decline in teen preference. Read the article here.

Innovative Steps To Reclaim A Human Way Of Life For The Next Generation

The normalization of adolescent smart phones has been so effective that years ago parents needed a movement to encourage families to at least wait until 8th grade before giving kids the internet in their pocket. That’s a good start, but read more here.

Weight-Normative Messaging Predominates On TikTok – A Qualitative Content Analysis

Nutrition-related content on TikTok is largely weight normative, and may contribute to disordered eating behaviors and body dissatisfaction in the young people that are TikTok’s predominant users. Read the study here.

Teens And Tech: New Report Sees Differences In Usage Depending On Family Structure

Kids living with both parents spend 2 hours less on digital technology daily than other children. Read the article here.

Teens Turn To TikTok In Search Of A Mental Health Diagnosis

While social media can help people feel less alone, using it to evaluate symptoms has several downsides. Read the article here.

How Filtered Social Media Photos Can Affect Body Image

Exploring the link between Instagram photos and body image. Read the article here.

Should I Post Photos Of My Children Online? Here’s What New Parents Need To Know About Sharenting

Decisions about whether, where, and how much to share pose a dilemma for many parents. Read the article here.

Why Teens Are Giving Up Their Smartphones And Joining The ‘Luddite Club’

For the teenage members of the Luddite Club, flip phones have become the norm. Read the article here.

New Documentary Asks: How Is TikTok Impacting Teens’ Mental Health?

The new documentary TikTok Boom, premiering tonight on PBS’s Independent Lens, explores the rise of TikTok by looking at its social-political, cultural and economic influences. Read the article here.

Discord Is Making It Easier Than Ever To Discord

The social app with a reputation for being somewhat oblique has dropped several new features that make it easier for newbies to have a good experience. Read the article here.

The Hottest App Right Now? One Where Teens Have to Say Nice Things About Each Other

Gas is topping Apple’s App Store charts despite being limited to a handful of states. Read the article here.

I Make Video Games. I Won’t Let My Daughters Play Them

For video game creators, game addiction is by design: It means success for their business. Read the article here.

Teen Drivers Often Unsafe On The Road With Speeding And Handheld Cellphone Use

Study finds teen drivers speed on 40% of road trips; text on 30% of road trips. Read the article here.

Excessive Social Media Use Linked To Depression Onset 6 Months Later

New research finds that people who constantly use social media are more likely to develop depression within six months, regardless of their personality type. Read the article here.

The Complex World Of Teens And Screens

Harvard researchers Emily Weinstein and Carrie James tell us what teens are really doing while on their phones. Read the article here.

Who Was Molly Russell?

Molly’s story shines a powerful light on what more parents and teens are dealing with than you probably know. Read the article here.

Video Games Introduced Me To The Chemical Brothers – Now Teens Find Music Through Fortnite

In the 90s and 00s, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Guitar Hero were prime outlets for music discovery. In 2022, it’s League of Legends and Fifa that are shaping taste. Read the article here.

Sexual Predators Are Grooming Young Teens On Wattpad, A Storytelling App Beloved By Gen Z

A Forbes investigation found that Wattpad was a place where sexual predators target and exploit vulnerable teens, in some cases leading to sex trafficking and assault. Read the article here.

Please Don’t Cook Chicken In NyQuil, The FDA Asks TikTok Users

Cooking chicken in NyQuil cold medicine doesn’t sound very appetizing — and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants you to know that it’s definitely not safe, either. Read the article here.

‘It’s A Joke First And A Game Second’: How The Delightful Trombone Champ Went Viral

Dan and Jackie Vecchitto created the internet’s latest obsession, with real-life trombonists’ firm approval. Read the article here.

Early Puberty In Girls Surged In The Pandemic, And We May Finally Know Why

The time spent during lockdowns scrolling through smart devices for hours on end could be to blame. Read the article here.

Parents Who Use Their Phones To Relax Are (Usually) Worse Parents, Study Says

Using your phone or computer to unwind when the kids are around is linked to worse parenting outcomes, a new study finds. Read the article here.

Is Your Son Addicted To Video Games?

Scholars disagree about whether video game addiction qualifies as its own psychiatric diagnosis. But as a family doctor, Leonard Sax has seen firsthand that some kids—mostly boys—are truly addicted. Read the article here.

How Social Media Is Literally Making Teens Mentally Ill

Seeking validation from mental-illness groups on social media has created a youth epidemic of “Digital Social Contagions,” with alarming rates of addiction, depression, suicide and gender dysphoria. Read the article here.

Teens Love The App BeReal. Am I Just Too Jaded?

A mom tried the new BeReal app for a week and this is what she thinks. Read the article here.

School Start Times And Screen Time Late In The Evening Exacerbate Sleep Deprivation In US Teenagers

The main reason why a healthy person is unable to naturally wake up without an alarm is that they are not getting the sleep their brain and body need. Read the article here.

For Gen Z, TikTok Is The New Search Engine

Young people are turning to TikTok to search for answers. Google has noticed. Read the article here.

YouTube Causes More Loss Of Sleep In Teenagers Than Netflix

Results showed that half-an-hour spent on YouTube in bed led to a 13-minute delay in going to sleep. Read the article here.

Big Tech Is Co-Parenting Our Children. Yes, Be Afraid.

In “Who’s Raising the Kids?” Susan Linn’s searing indictment of corporate greed, tech companies targeting children are rivaled only by the lawmakers who let them get away with it. Read the book review here.

Teens And Media: A Conversation

TikTok is at the center of where media matters to GenZ. Read the article here.

Teens Now Turn To TikTok More Than Google – But Not For Schoolwork

Nearly 40 percent of young people—ages 18 to 24—are turning to visual-based social media platforms like TikTok or Instagram for their internet searches. Read the article here.

How To Fix America’s Child-Pornography Crisis

The country could do much more to control this scourge, and it could do so without violating the First Amendment. Read the article here.

YouTube Found To Be Especially Bad For Teens’ Sleep

Many teens look at screens at bedtime, but some apps are more likely to keep them awake than others, leading to sleep problems. Read the article here.

Social Media Use Puts Teens At Risk Of Developing Drug And Alcohol Issues

New research has found adolescents who are active on social media are being exposed to content that could put them at risk of developing drug and alcohol issues. Read the article here.

The Impact Of Social Media On Teens’ Mental Health

Research has shown that young adults who use social media are three times as likely to suffer from depression—putting a large portion of the population at risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Read the article here.

‘Digital Self-Harm’ Is On The Rise Among Teens: What Parents Can Do To Help

New research highlights that teens who engage in “digital self-harm” are 15 times more likely to think about or attempt suicide. Read the article here.

Students Who Take Notes By Hand Have Higher GPA, Remember More Than Those Who Type On Digital Devices

Maybe having iPads and computers become a regular part of the classroom isn’t the best idea after all. Read the article here.

Instagram’s Newest Copycat Target Is BeReal

Meta is testing yet another feature on Instagram that copies directly from a competitor. Read the article here.

Online Communities Of Adolescents And Young Adults Celebrating, Glorifying, And Encouraging Self-Harm And Suicide Are Growing Rapidly On Twitter

A community promoting self-harm (specifically, “cutting”) is circulating graphic and bloody depictions of self-injury on Twitter. Read the report here.

The One Social-Media Feature That People Still Love

Instagram’s Close Friends toes the privacy line by offering users a safe, semipublic space of their own creation. Read the article here.

Instagram Now Defaults New Users Under 16 To Most Restrictive Content Setting

The changes are rolling out to global users across platforms amid increased regulatory pressure over social media apps and their accompanying minor safety issues. Read the article here.

Only One Social Media Platform Is Used By 95% Of Teens (And It’s Not TikTok)

While TikTok occupies the time of 67% of teens surveyed for a recent Pew Research Center study, it’s another video site that truly attracts the views. (Sorry, Facebook.) Read the article here.

What We Get Wrong About Teens And Screens

Teens’ digital struggles are part of a larger issue they’re facing. Read the article here.

Digital Hell: Young Parents’ Inability To Handle Kids’ Screen Time Habits Leading To More Arguments, Family Tension

New research by a team at Edith Cowan University finds many modern parents can’t agree on how to regulate their kids’ use of smartphones and tablets. Read the article here.

The Past Week In Viral News

A closer look at topics around Intellectual Property and Tiktok creators, the possible renaissance of the battle of the generations, and a nostalgia-charged trend that celebrates our worst teenage pics. Read the article here.

Snapchat Unveils New Parental Tool To Help Monitor Teen Activity On The App

“Family Center” will allow parents to see who their kids connect with on Snapchat. Read the article here.

I Didn’t Want It To Be True, But The Medium Really Is The Message

We’ve been told — and taught — that mediums are neutral and content is king. But is that true? Read the article here.

Half Of Millennials And Gen Z Splash Out On Video Games

About half of internet users ages 10 to 41 spend money on video games worldwide, and younger users are more likely to cough up. Read the article here.

6 In 10 Parents Text Their Kids When Dinner Is Ready, Instead Of Yelling

Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, but nearly six in 10 (59%) parents say they often text their kids to come downstairs for dinner instead of actually talking to them. Read the full article here.

Too Much Screen Time For Teens Leads To Mental Health Disorders, New Study Shows

Youngsters who spend a lot of time in front of a screen are at greater risk of developing behavior disorders, warned a new study. Read the article here.

A Few Alternate Social Media Sites Teens Are Looking To

Facebook is now 18 years old, and Twitter is 16. That means for a new generation of users, those social networks are ones that were used by their parents. Not surprisingly, consumers are looking for alternatives. Read the full article here.

Can Snap Bounce Back – And Change Live Music’s Future?

With its new AR innovations, the tech company wants to make concertgoing more fun and functional — and open up a whole new world of artist partnerships, too. Read the article here.

‘Wren Eleanor’ TikTok Movement Inspires Moms On Social Media To Remove Photos Of Kids

TikTok sleuths noticed that users were saving videos of 3-year-old Wren Eleanor in concerning numbers. Read the article here.

Young Gamers Are Embracing The Metaverse

A new report from global consultancy Bain & Company shows that young gamers are spending more time and money in the metaverse, potentially paving the way for the future of an interconnected virtual world being valued in the billions. Read the article here.

“Phoneliness”: A New Term Defining Reality for Generation Z

Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders explores how smartphones may be making Gen Z more lonely than ever. Read the article here.

Streaming Usage Increases 21% In A Year To Now Account For Nearly 1/3 Of Total TV Time

Compared with mid-2020, when connected TV usage skyrocketed as people stayed home amid COVID-driven shelter-in-place restrictions, total TV usage has returned to seasonal norms, but streaming has taken a much bigger seat at the table. Read the article here.

Instagram, TikTok, YouTube Top News Sources for U.K. Teens

Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are now the preferred mode of news consumption for British teenagers, a report by U.K. media regulator Ofcom has found. Read the article here.

Social Ladder: The Anti-Instagrams Are Taking Over

Young people are ditching Instagram in favor of apps that are more candid (and less toxic) as they seek out novel ways to connect. Read the article here.

Teens Search Social Media For Illicit Drugs, Fentanyl A Risk

Police in Colorado say the drug and fentanyl epidemic is moving to the social media world and many parents don’t know their kids are part of it. Read the article here.

TikTok Is Full Of Shady Secret Advertisements

Influencers are supposed to disclose their ads, but nothing happens when they don’t. Read the article here.

Kids And Teens Now Spend More Time Watching TikTok Than YouTube, New Data Shows

In June 2020, the younger demographic began averaging 82 minutes per day on TikTok versus an average of 75 minutes per day on YouTube, now the gap has widened even more. Read the article here.

TikTok Will Age-Restrict Some Videos From Teens’ Feeds

The app is introducing a new rating system called “Content Levels.” Read the article here.

Cyberbullying Increases The Risk Of Suicide Among Children More Than ‘Traditional’ Bullying

Cyberbullying has a stronger impact on adolescent victims than “traditional,” in-person bullying, a new study reveals. Read the article here.

Gen Z Social Usage Rising As Their Parents Start To Log Off

Two-thirds of the US population will use social networks on a monthly basis in 2022, with the largest influx of new users coming from Gen Z. Read the article here.

Design Tricks Commonly Used To Monetize Young Children’s App Use, Study Finds

The majority of apps preschool-aged children use are designed to make money off their digital experiences, a new study suggests. Read the article here.

Streaming Is Too Big For Its Own Good

Viewers are overloaded with content. And as Netflix and other major services are now learning, blind excess comes at a cost. Read the article here.

Instagram Will Start Nudging Teens Away From Content They Continuously Browse Through

It’s meant to keep teens from dwelling on a particular topic. Read the article here.

3 Things I’ll Teach My Kid About Porn: Former Addicted Dad Speaks Up

A guest blog post on Defend Young Minds. Read the article here.

Meta Rolls out More Parental Controls For Instagram And Virtual Reality

Facebook parent company Meta is rolling out additional parental supervision measures for Instagram and its virtual reality headset, expanding on a suite of tools released in the U.S. in recent months. Read the article here.

Teens Are Using Emoji And Secret Lingo To Find Illegal Drugs. How Parents Can Crack The Code

What parents need to know about the secret language of drugs online. Read the article here.

BeReal App Is Instagram’s Next Rival For Teens

BeReal asks users to post one candid unedited photo a day. It can’t be “liked” or shared. There are no algorithms or ads. And teens are increasingly choosing a feed that is intentionally boring. Listen to the report here.

The Teens Slipping Through The Cracks On Dating Apps

Although these platforms say they are doing what they can to keep kids under 18 off, they aren’t succeeding. Read the article here.

Mark Zuckerberg Is Blowing Up Instagram To Try And Catch TikTok

The CEO of Meta Platforms needs Reels—his short-form video feature—to fund his metaverse, and you can smell his desperation from Beijing. Read the article here.

For Teens, Saving Each Other From Social Media Is A Team Effort

Young people are learning how online content is wreaking havoc on their self esteem, and making it their mission to help other young people avoid the same fate. Read the article here.

The Video Streaming Industry Has Reached A Tipping Point

The significant shift in how consumers engage with video content has forever altered TV viewing, and the groundswell of over-the-top (OTT) platforms and content now provides more choice than consumers can keep track of. Access the report here.

Porn On An Apple Watch?! How Clever Kids Find It And How You Can Block It

Since most parents don’t know that porn can be accessed this way, they aren’t checking for (or blocking) porn on an Apple Watch. Read the article here.

From “Sounds” To Millions Of Streams: How TikTok Became A Major Player In The Musical Ecosystem

TikTok’s influential algorithm has the power to elevate talent from obscurity or low-level fame, and take older music to the top of the streaming charts. Read the article here.

Let Kids Be Kids A Little Longer: Wait Until 8th

The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers parents to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least 8th grade. Visit the website here.

Should Kids Have Smartphones? Debate Grows On Mental Health Impact

Many kids have a smartphone by age 12, and some even younger. Read the article here.

Teens Using Emojis As Code To Buy Counterfeit, Dangerous Drugs Online

Emojis are an easy, popular way to share emotions in picture form via text message or on social media, but some seemingly innocent emojis are actually code for drugs! Read the article here.

‘Herping’ On TikTok Makes Georgia Teens Famous

Two Augusta teens are making headlines by doing something kids used to do all the time: going outside. Read the article here.

Why Teens Are Self-Diagnosing On TikTok

The social media platform has become the psychiatrist’s couch for Gen Z. Read the article here.

US Mobile Gaming Ad Revenues To Reach $6 Billion

US mobile gaming ad revenues will reach $6.26 billion in 2022, up 14.0% from $5.49 billion in 2021. Read the article here.

Mom And Dad’s Social Media Habits Reveal Their Parenting Style

Does a parent’s posting habits on Facebook really change the way they interact with their kids? Read the article here.

Is TikTok Dangerous For Teens?

Parents, make sure your kids understand that a TikTok video is not authoritative, even it has 10 million likes. Read the blog post from Leonard Sax here.

What Is The Metaverse And Are Kids Safe There? Our Top 3 Concerns

Generally, the metaverse is a future combination of several technologies that make the internet more immersive. Defend Young Minds discusses possible concerns. You can read them here.

Selfie Distortions Lead To Increase In Nose Job Requests, New Study Finds

Smartphone selfies distort the appearance of facial features, leading to more cosmetic surgery inquiries, researchers say. Read the article here.

Facebook Has Another Reason To Worry About TikTok After New Teen Survey

Facebook parent company Meta is doing everything in its power to get teens to love its myriad services, but a new survey shows the social networking giant is losing to viral short-video platform TikTok. Read the article here.

FBI Pittsburgh Warns About Recent Surge In Sexual Extortion Cases Targeting Teen Boys

Investigators say that predators are seeking out teenage boys online and posing as girls their age. Read the article here.