I am someone that truly knows the gift of social media. The support it can give you when you are feeling down. The friends you can make and the groups you can join that have common interests.
PEW Research just released their latest study on Social Media, Teens and Friendship. Like adults, teenagers can find support through their online friends.
- 70% of social media-using teens feel better connected to their friends’ feelings through social media.
- 68% of teen social media users have had people on the platforms supporting them through tough or challenging times.
- 83% of teen social media users say social media makes them feel more connected to information about their friends’ lives.
As a reminder, in last month’s PEW Research, Parents and Social Media, they discovered that 79% of parents found support from other parents on social media. Human nature it to help each other, only today we have it through digital lives – at all ages.
In a recent CNN article, Teen Depression and how social media can help or hurt, Dr. Melinda Ring shared how one tween used Instagram as a platform for support and positive messaging to help him and others through adolescent depression.
Oversharing is still an issue that teens struggle with, however it is when friends posted about events or activities that they were not invited to. As expected, this can cause hurt feelings (being left out). The other issue, as with adults, is when teens’ exaggerate (humble braggers) about their lives online, this leads them to make negative comparison to their own life.
- 88% of teen social media users believe people share too much information about themselves on social media.
- 53% of social media-using teens have seen people posting to social media about events to which they were not invited.
- 42% of social media-using teens have had someone post things on social media about them that they cannot change or control.
- 21% of teen social media users report feeling worse about their own life because of what they see from other friends on social media.
Communication is key to all relationships.
It isn’t any different from when we were young and burning up our parent’s phone lines and people would get that dreaded busy signal. Or you were waiting for a call, you would constantly pick up the phone to be sure there was a dial tone. We wanted to stay connected to our friends. It’s no different today.
Teens are fortunate today, there are many ways to stay connected to their friends, but texting is the leader. Honestly, it is definitely a great form of communication especially if you only need a quick question answered.
Don’t be fooled though, according to the PEW Research, 85% of teen still talk to their closest friends on the phone and 19% said they chat with them on a daily basis.
Yes, we can hear a lot of negativity about online activity such as cyberbullying or Internet predators – but as I continue to write about the many positive aspects that the web offers – and the good things people are doing, what kids are doing, teens are doing, what teachers are doing, hopefully someday this will outweigh those trolls and all the Internet hate that continues.