Research + News

For Teens Who Are Glued To Social Media, This 4-Step Plan Can Help

A Look At Gen Z’s Preferred Social Platforms

The social networks with the most monthly Gen Z users are Snapchat (42.0 million), TikTok (37.3 million), and Instagram (33.3 million). Read the article here.

The Gaming Business: A Look At The eSports Playing Field

Esports is set to grow into a $1.62 billion industry by 2024. Read the article here.

Sharing Nudes Doubled Among Pre-Teens In 2020

Twice as many children between the ages of 9 and 12 reported sending nudes or other Self-Generated Child Sexual Abuse Material (SG-CSAM) in 2020 than in 2019. Read the research here.

The Dangerous Experiment On Teen Girls

The preponderance of the evidence suggests that social media is causing real damage to adolescents. Read the article here.

The Question We’ve Stopped Asking About Teenagers And Social Media

Should they be using these services at all? Read the article here.

Making YouTube Safer: Quick 2-Step Setup Of Supervised Accounts

Defend Young Minds provides some tips on making YouTube safer. Read the article here.

Missing Teen, 16, Found After Using TikTok Hand Sign Alerting She Was In Danger

Authorities were able to find a missing 16-year-old girl after she caught the attention of a driver by using hand gestures popularized on the social media platform TikTok. Read the article here.

Joining Social Media Before Age 11 Is Associated With Problematic Digital Behaviors

A new study published in Computers in Human Behavior found that using Instagram or Snapchat before age 11 was significantly related to more problematic digital behaviors compared to those who joined these platforms when they were older. Read the article here.

E-Violence Increases Through Early Adolescence But Declines As Teens Become Adults

Electronic dating violence—including electronic harassment, coercion and monitoring—starts increasing in preadolescence but curves as teens reach young adulthood, according to a new University of Michigan study. Read the article here.

Apps Offer Teens Some One-And-Done Settings To Stay Safer Online. Here’s A Crash Course

Use safety settings as a jumping-off point to talk about what helps your teen feel safe on the Internet. Read the article here.

E-mail Is Useful, But Texting Is Transforming College Campuses

New research shows that texting is the best method of communication to reach college students. So what stops more schools from using it? Read the article here.

Facebook Wants To Attract Young People, But Gen Z Teens Say It’s A ‘Boomer Social Network’ Made For ‘Old People’

Back in 2012, 94% of teens had a Facebook account, a Pew Research survey of 12- to 17-year-olds found. Almost 10 years later, only 27% of adolescents say they’re on the platform, according to a 2021 survey of 10,000 teenagers conducted by Piper Sandler. Read the article here.

Teen Depression Linked To Problematic Internet Use

Researchers have uncovered a link between depression and problematic internet use (PIU) among teens. Read the article here.

More U.S. Children Consume YouTube Videos Than Any Other Type Of Media

YouTube videos are the most popular medium among US children online, with 85% of those surveyed watching that content recently. Read the article here.

As Kids Turned To Screens During Pandemic, Their Mental Health Suffered

Researchers discovered that kids who exercised more and used technology less during the pandemic had better mental health outcomes. Read the article here.

Google Lets Kids Request Removal Of Self-Images In Search

Google introduced a tool Wednesday to give minors more control of self-images that appear in search queries, allowing those under 18 to request removal. Read the article here.

Parents: Your Teens Don’t Need A Smartphone

Here’s a pro-tip from this mother of five: Just say no to smartphones and social media. Read the article here.

1 In 3 Young Children Are Already Using Social Media Apps – Without Parental Supervision

A new study finds a third of children between seven and nine years-old are already using social media apps. Read the article here.

Instagram Struggles With Fears Of Losing Its ‘Pipeline’: Young Users

The app, hailed as Facebook’s growth engine, has privately wrestled with retaining and engaging teenagers, according to internal documents. Read the article here.

4 In 5 College Students Have Trouble Concentrating After Switching To Remote Learning

Now, a new study reveals the switch to remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic has made earning a college degree even harder. Read the article here.

Children Under 10 Are Using Social Media. Parents Can Help Them Stay Safe Online

It’s not just your teens who are on social media anymore. Younger kids are getting on those apps, and some parents aren’t confident that their children can stay safe online. Read the article here.

Teen Girls Are Developing Tics. Doctors Say TikTok Could Be A Factor

When teens started turning up in doctors’ offices with sudden, severe physical tics, specialists suspected social media: The girls had been watching Tourette syndrome TikTok videos. Read the article here.

‘It Spreads Like A Disease’: How Pro-Eating-Disorder Videos Reach Teens On TikTok

Although the platform bans content promoting dangerous weight loss, hashtags such as #skinnycheck can still be found. Read the article here.

More Than 1 In 3 Teens Say Snapchat Is Their Favorite Social Media App, Only 2% Cite Facebook

Snapchat is the favorite social media platform among teenagers in the United States and is still growing in popularity, while Facebook’s usage is minimal among teens. Read the article here.

Most US Parents Give Their Children Several Hours Of Screen Time Each Day

The majority of US parents (51%) reported giving their children 3 hours or more of daily screen time for anything other than homework. Read the article here.

The New Social Scene

Social apps teens are building and using. Read the article here.

‘She Opens The App And Gets Bombarded’: Parents On Instagram, Teens And Eating Disorders

Mothers describe their daughters’ dangerous experiences after whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony. Read the article here.

Parent Alert! Sexual Content On Roblox Plus 3 Safety Tips

Roblox is popular with kids all over the world. It currently hosts 142 million users and it’s been estimated that half of kids in the U.S. under 16 have played Roblox. Sadly it’s easy for predators and bad actors to infect the Roblox platform with sexual content. Read the article here.

Facebook Knows Instagram Is Harming Teens. But Is Anything Going To Change?

In Facebook’s own internal research, one-third of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse. Read the article here.

Instagram Promoted Pages Glorifying Eating Disorders To Teen Accounts

Proof that Instagram is not only failing to crack down on accounts promoting extreme dieting and eating disorders, but actively promotes those accounts, comes as Instagram and its parent company Facebook are facing intense scrutiny over the impact they have on young people’s mental health. Read the article here.

Certain Teens May Be At Higher Risk For Online Threats

The researchers also found that two years after Internet usage was monitored on the laptops, the participants who had viewed more pornography were more likely to be engaging in risky sexual behaviors. Additionally, those who had spent more time on social media were more likely to experience cyberbullying two years later. Read the article here.

Ever Heard Of The Blackout Challenge? How Social Media Is Changing Peer Pressure And What To Do About It

Today, peer pressure is at an all-time high, and it’s a different ballgame. Read the blog post from Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders here.

Worried About Your Teen On Social Media? Here’s How To Help

For kids, developing a healthier relationship with Instagram and other platforms can be tricky. Read the article here.

TikTok Tops 1 Billion Users As Social Media App’s Growth Surges

More than one billion people around the world now use TikTok, according to an announcement Monday from the app. Read the article here.

Facebook Says Instagram Is Not ‘Toxic For Teens,’ Despite WSJ Report

The claims are in response to a damning Wall Street Journal story that prompted a Senate hearing. Read the article here.

TikTok’s Latest Craze: Stealing Stuff From School

Students are taking things like soap dispensers, fire alarms and bathroom mirrors. TikTok and educators are trying to stop it, but it’s gone viral. Read the article here.

I Grew Up ‘Under A Rock’: My Parents Banned Social Media Until I Was 17. I’m Glad They Did.

I didn’t know at the time what a blessing it was to enjoy a childhood free of the constraints, anxiety and sadness social media often brings. Read the article here.

China Moves To Limit Social Media, Gaming As Teens Get More Addicted And Mental Health Is Impacted

Teens spent significantly more time on their phones and online gaming due to the pandemic. Read the article here.

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.