Research + News

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.

Social Media Might Be Bad For Teens’ Mental Health At Certain Age Windows

Researchers are trying to figure out who’s at risk. Read the article here.

The Dark Side Of Discord For Teens

Launched in 2015, Discord is less well-known among parents than big names like Instagram, even as it surged to 150 million monthly active users globally during the pandemic. Read the article here.

TikTok Trend Misfires After Teens Trying #OrbeezChallenge Charged With Aggravated Assault

The trend encourages people to use airsoft guns to shoot the small gel beads at people nearby. Read the article here.

Screen Time Terrors: 7 In 10 Parents Fear Their Kids Are Becoming ‘Internet Zombies’

Is all that time spent on social media, gaming apps, and streaming services turning kids’ brains into mush? Read the article here.

Instagram Releases Tools For Parents To Track Teens’ Activity

Instagram on Wednesday morning launched a “Family Center” with supervisory tools for parents to track their children’s time and activity on the platform. Read the article here.

‘They Cannot Be Trusted’: Lawmakers Slam Facebook Over Sale Of Deadly Children’s Products

Despite repeated warnings that Facebook Marketplace allows the sale of recalled products that have killed children, the platform’s parent company, Meta, has still failed to prevent such items from being available on its site. Read the article here.

How To Talk To Teens About Nudes And Online Safety

Teens may have sexted more during the pandemic, and the fallout can be intense. Read the article here.

What Teens See In Closed Online Spaces Like The Discord App

Unlike many other current popular social media platforms, Discord servers often function as closed communities, with invitations required to join. Read the article here.

Playboy Makes Perversion Woke

Playboy is once again trying to clean up its image and, in the process, contradict its own reasons for existence. Read the article here.

The Twitching Generation

Around the world, doctors have noticed teenage patients reporting the sudden onset of tics. Is this the first illness spread by social media? Read the article here.

Is There Hope For Gen Z?

A review of the book Gen Z, Explained: The Art of Living in a Digital Age. Read the article/review here.

What Is ‘Bigorexia’?

A social media diet of perfect bodies is spurring some teenage boys to form muscle dysmorphia. Read the article here.

Most Children Under 5 Are Spending An Excessive Amount Of Time In Front Of Screens

Researchers found only a minority of children worldwide are meeting the recommended hours of screen time. Read the article here.

How Digital Youth Became Unhappy – And Dangerous – Adults

How could the older and wiser ignore the dangers of adolescents’ reading fewer books and logging more screen hours? Read the article here.

Mom Pays Teen Son $1800 To Stay Off Social Media Until His 18th Birtday

“I knew for sure he was going to make it,” she said. Read the article here.

6 In 10 ‘Couldn’t Cope’ Without Smartphone For A Day

1 in 8 suffer anxiety from low battery. Read the article here.

Smartphones Make Teenagers Lonelier At School Because They Isolate Young People From Their Friends, Study Shows

Proportion of 15 and 16-year-olds feeling alienated has tripled in twenty years. Read the article here.

A Child’s TikTok Stardom Opens Doors. Then A Gunman Arrives.

Their daughter’s online venture plunged a Florida family into a nightmare, but they decided not to pull the plug. Read the article here.

Too Much Screen Time: Teens And Unhealthy Social Media Use

According to a study by The National Institutes of Health, the proportion of young people in the U.S. between the ages of 13 and 17 years who own a smartphone is 89%, more than double the amount just six years ago. Read the article here.

Young Media Consumers Spend More Time With Online Video, Gaming, Social Media, Less With TV, Movies

Young media consumers continue to spend more time with online video, gaming and social media, and less time with traditional screen-based TV series and movies, according to a new study from Hub Entertainment Research. Read the article here.

Viral Image Of Family Meal At Restaurant Is Mix Of Creativity And Tragedy

An Australian restaurant came up with a solution for keeping kids off their phones, but it unveils a bigger problem. Read the article here.

Teen Girls’ Sexy TikTok Videos Take A Mental-Health Toll

Girls are often anxious and overwhelmed by the attention they get after posting suggestive videos; therapists say more are suffering emotionally. Read the article here.

Teens Are Looking For Love In Online Places

How to help teens have safe and healthy online relationships. Read the article here.

Social Media Is Having A Negative Impact On Teenagers’ Mental Health

Here’s how parents can mitigate it. Read the article here.

Kids’ Behavior Worsened With Remote Learning

As the Omicron variant surges and U.S. schools deal with a substitute teacher shortage and related pandemic fallout, don’t be surprised if a return to remote or hybrid learning leads your kids to act out, a new study warns. Read the article here.