Knowing why teens value social media is just as important as understanding why teens are taking breaks from social media. Behind teens and social media is purpose driven social media marketing. Not unlike adults, teens desire to be relevant, be a part of a group or community and have value. Unlike when their parents were growing up and had personal friend connections but often limited transportation or restrictions on time to be with those friends, teens today can hang out with their friends, all the time, 24/7, wherever they are! Social media has created a feeling of connectedness never experienced in human history.
Teens talk about their desires, personal issues, fears, and thoughts on social media. But there is a downside to all of this connectedness ~ social media is also where cyberbullying and sexual exploitation of young people occur. Sadly, many teens and younger children, who are being victimized, seldom tell their parents until it is too late.
Parents need to be present in their teen’s social media world while educators need to be vigilant in recognizing signs of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, poor sleep habits, eating disorders or body image issues in their students, which all may be related to the affects of social media.