Teens and social media is a hot topic online, in debates and many circles. The focus has often been on the negative effects of social media on teens. Which leads us to the question, are there any positive things teens can gain from social media?
We would be in complete denial to assume that there are no dangers associated with teenage/adult social media use. In fact recent reports partially link increasing teen depression and (attempted) suicide rates to social media (ab)use, which is a huge cause for concern.
However, we cannot also deny the benefits of social media use, which though debatable, is nevertheless undeniable. In this post we’ll highlight seven (7) simple ways teens can benefit from social media use.
Why is this necessary, you ask. There are three (3) major answers to this:
- Over 3.2 billion people use social media on a monthly basis
- 71% of teenagers use Facebook
- Users spend an average of 2:22hrs each a day on social media, interacting with all kinds of content
Without proper guidance, your teen could be signing up for danger the moment they join a social network because they’d be spending a lot of time there interacting with all kinds of people across the world.
That said, following are
7 Things Your Teens Can Benefit From Social Media in 2019
1. Positive Friendships
Facebook for instance, allows users add up to 5, 000 friends, anything more will require you to upgrade your personal account to a Facebook Page.
You can encourage your teen to set their accounts to only receive friend requests from friends of friends. That way they can weed out strangers and potential dangers plus increase their chances of befriending good people.
The latter will greatly benefit them. People have developed lifelong friendships on social media, including some that have resulted in marriage.
2. Social Skills
Social media friendships have their limitations. Your teen shouldn’t only have virtual friends, they should have real, offline friends in the neighborhood, school, etc.
This is important to help your teen develop certain essential social skills. For instance, a homeschooled digital native who grows up to become a remote freelancer may have limited interactions with real people which can hamper their social development.
In the same vein, developing healthy social media friendships can help your teen build a different kind of social skills set; one which may be handy in the growing gig economy.
Still speaking about relationships; mentorship is another beneficial relationship your teens can derive from social media usage.
Mentors of every colour and shade also use social media. By using social media, your teens increase their chances of virtually running into a mentor or role model they’ve always liked.
Whether in their career, studies, business or life pursuit, teens can use a lot of mentorship and guidance, which they can get from social media.
One of the benefits of mentorship is the passing down of knowledge to the mentee. This means your teen can learn a lot from a mentor or role model they meet online.
They could also meet and befriend the smartest kid in class via Facebook, for instance. This could lead to beneficial knowledge sharing and can help boost your teens academic performance.
By following relevant social media accounts, your teen will also be learning a lot from their posts, participating in contests and getting useful information.
5. Business Ideas
If your teen is an entrepreneur in the making, s/he can also learn a lot about entrepreneurship via social media either from older adults or fellow teens.
There are many teenpreneurs who’re already multi-millionaires running their own successful businesses.
Your teen can learn from them, how they started, how they overcame the challenges they faced, how they’ve become and stayed profitable, how they balance entrepreneurship with education, etc.
6. Inspiration, Insight
Perhaps your teen isn’t the entrepreneurial type. Maybe all s/he loves and craves is the arts, or some other thing other than business.
There’s never a shortage of things to follow after and learn online. On social media, your teen is very likely to find other teens who share similar interests, dreams and hobbies.
This can serve as a constant stream of ideas and insights. For, instance belonging to a Facebook Group for dancers can be a source of endless inspiration for your dance loving teen.
7. Positive Peer Pressure
Negative peer pressure is never in short supply, and sadly, there’s plenty of it online, especially on social media. Which is one of the reasons parents fear for their teens who want to use social media.
However, there are a lot of ways and means for teens to experience positive peer pressure online, via social media.
By practicing everything listed from numbers 1-6 above, teens will expose themselves to positive peer pressure, and will turn out to be better adults, thanks to their wise use of social media.
Parents also have a role to play. One of which is discovering teen focused articles like this and searching out relevant social media groups to which they can point their teens.
Let us know how you’re helping your teens use social media responsibly.