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By Kerry Gallagher

Pew Research Center recently released this Teens and Social Media Fact Sheet. Once you have taken a few minutes to review it, consider having a conversation with the 13-17 year olds in your life. You can ask:

  • Which social media apps do you like the most?
  • In which apps do you spend the most time? (They can check this using Screentime on Apple devices or Digital Wellbeing on Android devices.)
  • What do you think draws you into the apps you like and the apps where you spend the most time?
  • What are the topics of the content you view or engage with the most? Why do those topics interest you?

The resulting conversations will serve two purposes:

  1. You will learn more about your teen’s use of time on their devices, topics of interest, and gain insights into their thinking.
  2. You are providing an opportunity for your teen to reflect on the amount of time and cognitive energy they are spending on social media. Ask them, “Is this the way you want to spend this much time? Are there other activities or ideas you would rather look into? Can I help you explore those activities or ideas?”

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