What Kids Want you to Know About Their Use of Social Media

Kids share what they like and don't like about being so connected via social media.

Parents often get frustrated with their children for being on their cell phone so much and for excessively using social media, but as we kids will quickly point out, you (parents) didn’t grow up with cell phones, so maybe you don’t completely understand what we're doing online and what we really think about social media.

Social media is a platform that millions of kids, typically ages 12 and up, rely on for the latest trends, news, and a way to stay connected with their peers. I conducted a FKP (From a Kids' Perspective) survey on this subject to let parents know how they can better understand what their kids do on social media, what kids think are the ups and downs of it all, and to resolve any problems that may come between parents and their kids about why they want to use social media to communicate.

What kids do NOT like about cell phones or social media:

  • Over 80 percent of kids feel they get very distracted by sites like twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat while trying to do homework
  • Seventy percent of kids feel like they are missing out when seeing pictures or videos of their friends doing fun things without them and this is hurtful and can make them feel bad.
  • Sixty percent of girls feel like their self-esteem is decreased while going on social media when they see pictures of other girls looking skinnier and prettier than themselves.

What do kids do online that might worry their parents?

More than half of kids admitted to hiding things from their parents on social media more than once. Things like blocking their parents from accessing their social media accounts, or hiding the fact that they are a member of a certain website/social media app were a few of the things kids said they have done in the past

I asked an open response question, "Have you ever seen your friends do something on social media that they shouldn't do or share publicly? If so, please explain." Nearly every single response I got mentioned people posting pictures of themselves drinking, doing drugs, or wearing minimal clothing.

What kids want their parents to understand about their use of cell phones and social media:

Kids recognize that social media can be overwhelming, and quite distracting sometimes, but we want our parents to understand that social media is a huge part of our social lives, and its how we stay connected.

lease give us some freedom to be on social media sites and to have the wisdom to know what not to do. Talk with us about what we shouldn't do and what we should do if we see something inappropriate that could hurt someone.

Select Survey Comments:

"I wish that people weren't so dependent on it — I hate when I'm out to dinner with my friends and everyone is on their phones."

"I'm 16. I don't like how society on social media has built an image of what girls should look like unrealistically. I like how it keeps me connected."

"It's sad we have to live our lives through each other and constantly know what everyone is doing and when."

BY EMMA HUSK

 Published: November 28, 2016 07:16 PM

Aimee Symington