New social media recommendations for teens focus on preventing harm

A new report from the American Psychological Association (APA) gives parents of adolescents information that is often hard to find: an up-to-date, thorough list of recommendations for social media use. Included in the APA’s 10 recommendations are commonsense tips, like reasonably monitoring social media use, limiting time spent so that it doesn’t interfere with sleep and exercise, and minimizing use for social comparison, particularly related to beauty- and appearance-related content. The report also highlights the importance of regularly screening pre-teens and teens for “problematic” social media use as well as offering social media literacy training to help them develop skills like questioning the accuracy of content they see and understanding tactics for spreading misinformation.Written by a panel of experts who focus on adolescent mental health, the recommendations are meant to reach policymakers, educators, mental health clinicians, technology companies, and teens, in addition to parents and caregivers. SEE ALSO: How to get your kid into mindfulness “This is what needs to happen, from everyone, if we want to keep kids safe,” Dr. Mitch Prinstein, a co-author of the guidelines and the APA’s chief science officer, told Mashable. The authors write that while social media isn’t inherently good or bad, it can benefit or harm teens depending on how they use it — and how technology companies design their products. They caution that social media use should also reflect a teen’s home environment and their maturity, including their intellectual and emotional development, and how well they can comprehend the risks. While it’s…New social media recommendations for teens focus on preventing harm