Research + News

An Illicit Snapchat Video Was Shared By Students. It Led To The Arrest Of 3 Teens

Three Florida Keys teenage boys were arrested after a video showing two of them engaging in sexual acts with a 12-year-old girl was shared by students, police said. Read the article here.

Teens Lying About Age Online Face Unique Danger, Expert Says

The internet can be a dangerous avenue for everyone, but children and teens are especially vulnerable, no matter their smart device or location. Read the article here.

Facebook Under Fire Over Secret Teen Research

Facebook-owned Instagram has been criticized for keeping secret its internal research into the effect social media had on teenager users. Read the article here.

More US Children Encounter Ads On YouTube Than On Any Other Platform

In April 2021, 70% of those ages 2 to 12 said they had recently seen ads on YouTube, far more than the 36% who reported the same of TV. Read the report here.

These Teens Are Depressed And Anxious. Social Media Deserves Blame

Data shows that many teens are dealing with mental health issues. The national average of weekly visits for suspected suicide attempts among people ages 12 to 17 jumped nearly 40 percent in February and March compared to two years before, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read the article here.

Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic For Teen Girls, Company Documents Show

Its own in-depth research shows a significant teen mental-health issue that Facebook plays down in public. Read the article here.

What Body Positivity Means To Today’s Teens

Teen Artists Are Making Millions On NFTs. How Are They Doing It?

NFTs, like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, have been subject to bouts of volatility since hitting the mainstream in the spring. Read the article here.

The Time For Less Phones In Schools Is Now

Having phones used less during the school day increases connections and decreases distractions. Read more here.

China Tightens Limits For Young Online Gamers And Bans School Night Play

The restrictions reflect the government’s intensifying push for companies to jettison what it says are unhealthy cultural influences. Read the article here.

Remasters, Remakes And Reboots Stay Hot Among Video Gamers

Old games are being rebooted and remade as different generations play video games together. Read the research here.

Excess Screen Time Impacting Teen Mental Health

Teens need to regularly switch screen time for physical activity for the sake of their health and mental wellbeing, according to a University of Queensland-led study. Read the article here.

University Of Alabama Sorority Rush Has Taken Over TikTok. Users Can’t Look Away.

Many of the videos, which in the last week have flooded the feeds of TikTok users across the country, show potential new members — or PNMs, as they are called in the sorority and fraternity community — showing off their outfits for themed events and naming the brand or store each item comes from. Other videos show behind the scenes of how they get ready for the events and, in some cases, attending them. Read the article here.

Parent Alert! The Dangers Of OnlyFans Plus 4 Ways To Defend Your Kids

Defend Young Minds has this to say about OnlyFans:

“The idea behind OnlyFans was to “develop a site where creators could monetize their content free of advertisers.”

The “creators” included photographers, YouTubers, models, actors, and others involved in the creative arts. Unfortunately, the site also immediately attracted sexually explicit content.”

Read the full article here.

Physical Activity Protects Children From The Adverse Effects of Digital Media On Their Weight Later In Adolescence

A recently completed study shows that six hours of leisure-time physical activity per week at the age of 11 reduces the risk of being overweight at 14 years of age associated with heavy use of digital media. Read the article here.

TikTok Videos Are Giving Kids An Overly Positive View Of Vaping

Content portraying vaping as cool and in a positive light is rampant on the popular social media platform TikTok. Read the article here.

This Is Our Chance To Pull Teenagers Out Of The Smartphone Trap

For many years now, some experts have been saying that smartphones and social media harm teens while others have dismissed those concerns as just another moral panic, no different from those that accompanied the arrival of video games, television and even comic books. Read the article here.

Facebook To Restrict Ads Targeting Teens

Facebook says it will no longer allow advertisers to target those 18 and under based on their interests and activity on other sites. Read the article here.

Teens: Dealing With Serious Issues In The Age Of Social Media

Teens are talking about some heavy topics online. Read the article here.

Instagram’s New Protections For Teens Come As Experts Say Tween Venture Poses Big Risks

The move follows pushback at launch of an Instagram service for children under 13. Read the article here.

‘Anorexia Coach’: Sexual Predators Online Are Targeting Teens Wanting To Lose Weight. Platforms Are Looking The Other Way

There’s no shortage of people online looking to exploit and manipulate the vulnerable among us. One such group is anorexia coaches, or “anacoaches”. Read the article here.

Parents’ Fears Over Sexting And Abuse Among Teenagers

A vivid picture of sexual assaults and harassment in teenagers’ lives has been laid bare in recent months but parents rarely speak about the emotional turmoil they face. Read the article here.

12-Year-Old Oklahoma Boy Found Dead After Participating In TikTok ‘Blackout Challenge,’ Reports Say

A 12-year-old boy from Oklahoma died this week after participating in a dangerous social media trend on TikTok, according to a local TV report. Read the article here.

Instagram ‘Pushes Weight-Loss Messages To Teenagers’

Researchers find minimal interactions by teen users can trigger a deluge of thin-body and dieting images. Read the article here.

TikTok Made Me Buy It

The video app is causing products to blow up — and flame out — faster than ever. Read the article here.

The Top 10 Twitch Streamers And Games Of 2021 So Far

Twitch is more popular than ever, sustaining and growing its audiences even after a circumstantial, COVID-inspired spike in viewership during 2020. Read the article here.

Teens Around The World Are Lonelier Than A Decade Ago. The Reason May Be Smartphones

Loneliness among adolescents around the globe has skyrocketed since a decade ago — and it may be tied to smartphone use, a new study finds. Read the article here.

Twitter’s Disappearing Tweets Feature Fleets Is Going Away For Good Soon

The social media platform said Wednesday that it is ending its Fleets feature, where users can share text, photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours, similar to rival Snapchat, due to the lack of new user engagement. Read the article here.

Netflix Plans Push Into Video Games

Netflix announced that it’s hired a Facebook executive to lead games development — apparently signaling its intention to leap into publishing video games. Read the article here.

Meet The Teens Running Fan Pages For 2000s TV Shows That Aired When They Were Babies

Teens are running TikTok and Instagram fan pages for TV shows that aired in the 2000s. Read the article here.

Sharenting: Solving The Problem Of Parents And Kids On Instagram

Tim Elmore blogs about what parents need to consider regarding their own social media posts involving their kids. Read the blog here.

TikTok’s Catfish Problem Is Worse Than You Think

Several creators have been called out for faking their age and their race. Read the article here.

Teens Who Text While Driving May Take Other Risks Behind The Wheel

Those who used cellphones while behind the wheel were more likely to report other risky driving behaviors such as speeding, aggressive passing and running red lights. Read the article here.

Your Teen’s Smartphone Could Be Key To Unhealthy Weight

New research out of South Korea shows that teens who spend too much time on their smartphones are also more prone to eating habits that increase their odds for obesity. Read the article here.

Babysitters & Tech: 5 Tips To Keep Kids Safe From Pornography

The minute a babysitter enters your home, you’ve also likely invited in a smartphone. Read the article from Protect Young Minds here.

Digital Generations: The Technology Gap Between Seniors, Parents, And Kids

One of the reasons younger generations are more comfortable interacting with technology is because they know the world no other way. Read the article here.

Video Games And Children: When Do Parents Need To Worry?

Even before the pandemic, teens were spending hours playing video games. A 2018 poll of nearly 1,000 parents of teenagers showed the impact of gaming on their teens’ lives. Read the article here.

Smartphone Use Associated With Unhealthy Eating And Overweight In Teens

Teens who used a smartphone for more than 2 hours per day were significantly more likely to eat more junk food and fewer fruits and vegetables than those spending less time on their phone. Read the article here.

A Pro E-Sports Team Is Getting $210 Million To Change Its Name

The deal between TSM, which fields competitive video game teams, and the Hong Kong-based FTX exchange, rivals the kinds of deals top sports franchises land to name arenas and stadiums. Read the article here.

US Influencers Make The Most Income Through Brand Collaborations

Nearly 70% of US influencers said brand collaborations are their No. 1 revenue stream. Read the article here.

More Children Battling Vision Problems Thanks To Rise In Screen Time During Pandemic

Researchers say the combination of home confinement and too much time looking at digital screens appears to be severely impacting kids’ vision. Read the article here.

Balancing Our Uneasy Relationship With Technology After The Pandemic

There will be no return exactly to the pre-pandemic normal, as the use of new technologies in churches will not suddenly vanish. Read the article here.

TikTok Ranks High For Driving Female Gen Z Purchases

Recommendations from family/friends and TikTok videos are among the top drivers of product purchases among Gen Z females, according to the 2021 IRI Gen Z survey. Read the article here.

Teenagers Who Use The Internet, Social Media Or Video Games For More Than An Hour Daily Have ‘Significantly Lower Grades and Test Scores’

Researchers are urging parents to place time limits on their children’s tech use. Read the article here.

Police Arrest 150 ‘Unruly’ Teenagers After Thousands Gather For TikTok Star’s Birthday

More than 150 people were arrested after a crowd of around 2,500 assembled for a TikTok influencer’s birthday party in California’s Huntington Beach, creating a ruckus, including hurling fireworks and rocks at the police. Read the article here.

SiriusXM Is Starting A TikTok Music Channel To Appeal To The Teens

Sirius, which owns Pandora and the podcasting company Stitcher, announced a new partnership with the social video app today that’ll bring TikTok-popularized music to the satellite radio provider. Read the article here.

The Missing Middle: Reimagining A Future For Tweens, Teens and Public Media

Joan Ganz Cooney Center and CPB seek to carry forward Joan’s vision of programming that prioritizes youth well-being and supports learning and the development of life skills. Read the article here.

Interactive Text Messaging Program May Help Young Adults Stop Vaping

Young adults who used an interactive text messaging program that encouraged them to stop vaping were up to 40% more likely to quit than their peers who did not participate in the program, a new study finds. Read the article here.

How Did We Get So Stuck On Social Media?

Our complicated relationship with social media might be simpler than it feels. Just remember how it started. Read the article here.

Some Kindergartners Are Staring At Screens For Over 6 Hours A Day During COVID

There’s little doubt remote learning and child care issues are pushing more parents to rely on screens to keep their children preoccupied during COVID-19. Read the article here.

Teens And Social Media: ‘Unfollow Some Accounts That Don’t Make You Feel Good’

The Internet has become a destination of endless doom scrolling and incessant comparison, especially as platforms like Instagram have become home to highly edited images that don’t reflect reality, having a disproportionate impact on youth. Read the article here.

Deadly Scam Aimed At Teens: This Is What One Houston-Area Family Wants You To Know

Remind your kids there’s no problem too big that you can’t work out together. Read the article here.

More Gen Zers Now Use TikTok Than Instagram In The US

In 2023, TikTok will surpass Snapchat in total US users. Read the article here.

2 In 3 Kids Regularly ‘Screen Stacking’ After School – Using Up To Four Digital Devices At Same Time

Once school ends, a recent study finds two-thirds of children spend their evenings and weekends staring at up to four screens at once. Read the article here.

What To Know About TikTok Therapy

During the pandemic, some Gen Zers have turned to TikTok for mental health advice and information. Read the article here.

When Grown-Ups Have Imaginary Friends

“Parasocial relationships” explain why you think influencers are your pals. Read the article here.

Dangers Of Discord: 6 Steps For Safeguarding Teens On The Popular Chat App

What exactly is Discord? And can my teen safely use it? Read the article from Protect Young Minds here.

Facebook Allows Drug Ads To Target Teens, Activists Say

The social network has rules about what can be shown to minors. The Tech Transparency Project found that they aren’t being enforced. Read the article here.

What Is ‘Cheugy’? You Know It When You See It

Out of touch? Basic? A new term to describe a certain aesthetic is gaining popularity on TikTok. Read the full article here.

A Psychologist’s Advice: How To Talk To Your Kids About Social Media And Drug Abuse

Teenagers vs. Sleep: How Screen Time Is Getting In The Way

Research from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry shows how constant screen time for teens with and without ADHD affects daily life. Read the article here.

Why Is Pornography A Big Deal?

Sometimes people will say that viewing pornography is no big deal because it doesn’t hurt anyone. Sean McDowell shares why this couldn’t be further from the truth. Watch the video here.

How Much Of Your Stuff Belongs To Big Tech?

In the digital era, the old rule book on ownership doesn’t work anymore. But beware of what’s replacing it. Read the article here.

Social Media Use In 2021

A majority of Americans say they use YouTube and Facebook, while use of Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok is especially common among adults under 30. Read the article here.

A Pastor’s Son Becomes A Critic Of Religion On TikTok

John Piper is one of the most influential theologians in America. His son Abraham calls evangelicalism “a destructive, narrow-minded worldview.” Read the article here.

Online Schools Are Here To Stay, Even After The Pandemic

Some families have come to prefer stand-alone virtual schools and districts are rushing to accommodate them — though questions about remote learning persist. Read the article here.

Boys Who Spend Lots Of Time Online More Likely To Cyberbully

The study also found that boys were more likely to engage in cyberbullying than girls. Read the article here.

Teens Dissatisfied With Virtual School

New study finds that teens in virtual classes are less satisfied with their school experience, but are no more likely to be depressed. Read the article here.

YouTube Dominates Social Media Reach, TikTok Now Rivals Snapchat, Twitter

In its debut in a highly regarded study of Americans’ social media platform usage, TikTok ranks just behind Snapchat and Twitter, and well ahead of far more established Reddit as a social media destination U.S. adults say they use. Read the article here.

What Parents Should Know About YouTube’s New Parental Controls For Teens

YouTube recently launched a new option specifically geared toward tweens, teens, and their parents with a supervised experience. Read the article here.

Instagram For Kids?! 3 Red Flags Every Parent Should Consider

Protect Young Minds provides reasons that Instagram for kids is not developmentally age-appropriate. Read the article here.

Advocacy Groups Urge FTC To Be Tougher On Google With Protecting Kids Privacy On Apps

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) said they plan to file a complaint with the FTC Wednesday asking regulators to investigate how the Google Play Store promotes apps for kids. Read the article here.

Selfie-Centered Kids? How To Teach Empathy With 5 Quick And Easy Activities

From a new article at ProtectYoungMinds.org:

Research shows that there’s a startling decline in empathy among kids. And in a world where capturing the perfect selfie, garnering likes and followers, and achieving social media fame are highly valued, it’s not hard to see why kids are becoming selfie-centered.

Read the full article here.

One Year Into Pandemic, What Are Kids And Parents Learning About Tech?

Physically being in school with friends and teachers is best, but it seems kids have made big gains in becoming tech savvy. Read the article here.

Facebook Is Working On An Instagram For Kids

Vishal Shah, Instagram’s vice president of product, reportedly announced the initiative in a Facebook post for employees. Read the article here.

Study Shows Stronger Brain Activity After Writing On Paper Than On Tablet Or Smartphone

Unique, complex information in analog methods likely gives brain more details to trigger memory. Read the article here.

Teens Organize Free Virtual Tutoring Programs To Aid Kids With Remote Learning Amid Pandemic

Many children have spent more than a year attending school virtually, raising significant concerns about a growing inequality gap. Watch the video here.

Preschoolers With Too Much Screen Time Struggle Making Friends, Have Shorter Attention Spans

Technology may help older children and adults connect with the world, but for toddlers, too much screen time may be doing lasting harm before they even enter school. Read the article here.

Gen Z Hit Hardest By Digital Fraud One Year After COVID-19, Study Shows

Fraudsters were more likely to go after Gen Z, 44%, and Millennials, 37%, more than any other age group globally. Read the article here.

TikTok Is “Like A Trap,’ Health Experts Say As Eating Disorders Among Teens Rise

Numerous studies have documented the negative effects of social media on people with eating disorders, but there are some aspects specific to TikTok that are concerning. Read the article here.

STDs Are Rising Among Teens. Can Video Games Help?

As the pandemic has driven learning online, some sex education game developers think this could be their moment. Read the article here.

New Data Highlight Disparities In Students Learning In Person

A new U.S. Education Department survey reveals that the percentage of students who are still attending school virtually may be higher than previously understood. Read the article here.

Teens Film TikTok Prank Telling 8-Year-Old Her Parents Died – How Should They Be Punished?

If you suspect your child is bullying others online or off, experts say parents need to be on the front lines of fixing the problem. Read the article here.

Social Media and Mental Health

Tips for families of older kids and teens from Common Sense Media. Read the article here.

For Creators, Everything Is For Sale

Creators are using online platforms to earn money by auctioning off, or taking polls, for what activities they should do next. Read the article here.

Instagram Will No Longer Let Adults Message Teens Who Don’t Follow Them

Teen users will also be shown safety prompts when messaging ‘suspicious’ adults. Read the article here.

How Tech Will Change Sex And Intimacy, For Better And Worse

Sex robots and better long-distance connections? Read the article here.

The New Late-Night

New YouTube talk shows that Millennials and Gen Zs are tuning into. Read the article here.

Video Game Revenue Soars, New Consoles Key

Video-game revenues — games, consoles and accessories — continue to spike, up 35% in February to a record $4.6 billion, according to the NPD Group. Read the article here.

Young Drivers Talking On Smartphones More Likely To Run Red Lights, Drive Intoxicated

Using a hand-held phone while driving is a major safety hazard at any age. Read the article here.

On TikTok, Mental Health Creators Are Confused For Therapists. That’s A Serious Problem

Creators who purport to reduce the stigma around mental health issues may be unintentionally spreading misinformation on the app, where people who post about mental health are easily confused with real professionals making similar content. Read the article here.

Research Identifies Impact Of Teenage Screen Use

Two thirds of children use more than one screen at the same time after school, in the evenings and at weekends as part of increasingly sedentary lifestyles, according to new research. Read the article here.

Selfie-Image Problem: 9 In 10 Young Women Edit, Filter Photos Before Posting Them Online

Most young women in the survey said they’re frequently bombarded with tailored ads for beauty products and cosmetic surgeries. Read the article here.

Almost 40% Of University Students Surveyed Are Addicted To Their Phones

A team of researchers at King’s College London has found that nearly 40% of students surveyed exhibited symptoms of addiction to their smartphone. Read the article here.

Teens And Their Smartphone Addictions

Addictions can develop in response to things other than chemical substances — smartphones, video gaming, certain forms of enabling and so on. Read the article here.

Many Teens Live Online, Alone. Here’s How To Stay Connected In The Pandemic

For many teens, the pandemic has created an environment in which most of their lives take place in the shadows. Read the article here.

Makers Of ‘Kid’s First Virtual World’ Animal Jam Targets Gen Z Teens With Fer.al Debut

The company behind the popular kids’ title, Animal Jam, is launching a new game, Fer.al, which builds on Animal Jam’s legacy while catering to a slightly older crowd of Gen Z teens. Read the article here.

Excessive Screen Time Impacts Teens’ Sleep, Weight, And Activity Levels

Experts are particularly concerned about young people using multiple devices at the same time. Read the article here.

Lonely Adolescents Are Susceptible To Internet Addiction

Loneliness is a risk factor associated with adolescents being drawn into compulsive internet use. Read the article here.

Study Shows Connection Between Social Media Use And Binge Eating In Pre-Teens

Learning to control your social media and TV habits early can help kids make healthier decisions as they get older. Read the article here.