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World Social Media Day

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


World Social Media Day

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30th June is World Social Media Day, a day for celebrating social media’s far-reaching impact on global communication. Social media helps teenagers to express themselves and find support and belonging. It is also a helpful place to get mental health information, and can help people connect with family, friends and new forms of community. 

Even though there are lots of positives to social media, you may also be concerned about your teen being on social media too much . Some young people may find it quite easy to switch off and take breaks, whilst others may find it harder. For those young people, this may look like social media addiction.

Some common signs of social media addiction include:

- Your teenager is finding it hard to stop using and thinking  about social media, and is constantly checking notifications.

- Your teenager seems stressed, anxious and irritated when they can’t use social media.

- Social media interferes with your teenager’s daily activities such as school, sleep, hobbies or extracurricular activities. 

- Social media disrupts their schooling, mental health and relationships outside of social media.

You may find social media can bring other challenges, including:

- seeing distressing content or world news

- seeing unrealistic images and standards

- misinformation about mental health

- cyberbullying.

It’s important to have an open dialogue with your teenager to make sure you understand why they’re on social media. Perhaps they’ve found people who like the same niche hobby as them, or they may use chat functions to do group assignments. Remember to go in with an open mind so that your teenager knows you’re there to support them. 

If you are worried about their use,  there are lots of things you can do to help your teen take advantage of all the pros of social media and engage in a healthier way. 

Encourage your teenager to be conscious of their social media use:

- Discuss screen time settings with your teenager - most devices and platforms have the option to limit screen time. You could even do this as a family. 

- Encourage them to set up blocks throughout their day where they can switch off from social media platforms.

- Learn more about how to have a great conversation.

Talk to your teen about the content that they consume on social media:

- Try to keep up to date with any trends or viral moments that may be harmful or inappropriate for your teenager. 

- Improve your knowledge of the safety guidelines on different platforms. Learn more about popular social media platforms.

- Learn more about helping your teen deal with graphic content

- Empower your teenager to identify, block and report harmful content on social media - check out the tips and tools for teens and parents to improve online safety from the ESafety Commissioner.

- You could also use Spot the Troll together to start a conversation about thinking critically about what your teenager sees on social media. 

Have an open conversation about social media engagement with your teenager:

- Talk to your teenager about the benefits and risks of social media.

- Explore healthy boundaries and ways of engaging with social media platforms safely, and be a safe space for your teen to share their experiences. 

- Learn about social media literacy and identifying unrealistic images together - here’s an article on how to encourage positive online experiences.

Model healthy social media habits:

- Take social media breaks and set limits on your own use. You could even talk to your teen about any challenges you have doing this so they know they’re not alone.

- Organise family events that don’t need online engagement and let everyone to take a break and recharge.

- Learn more about encouraging positive online behaviour through leading by example.

You can also check out our   ‘Ask a Professional’ post on teens and mobile phones.

Extra resources:

The ESafety Commissioner is an independent body dedicated to online safety. They offer comprehensive advice on internet safety and can assist in investigating reports of online harm.

- Teaching your teens resilience 

- How to build resilience in your teenager 

- Teaching your teenager coping skills for wellbeing 

- How to support you teen after experiencing a traumatic event 

- Helping your teen cope with discrimination 

- Helping your teen cope with bad worlds news