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Youngsters and Social Media Use – 1

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A recent report from the journal Pediatrics discusses benefits and risks of youngsters using social media. This series of posts will discuss those positives and negatives. This report comes directly from the report from Pediatrics.

Social media sites allow teens to accomplish online many of the tasks that are important to them offline: staying connected with friends and family, making new friends, sharing pictures, and exchanging ideas.

Social media participation (such as on Facebook) also can offer adolescents deeper benefits that extend into their view of self, community, and the world, including:

  1. opportunities for community engagement through raising money for charity and volunteering for local events, including political and philanthropic events;
  2. enhancement of individual and collective creativity through development and sharing of artistic and musical endeavors;
  3. growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos, and gaming sites;
  4. expansion of one’s online connections through shared interests to include others from more diverse backgrounds (such communication is an important step for all adolescents and affords the opportunity for respect, tolerance, and increased discourse about personal and global issues); and
  5. fostering of one’s individual identity and unique social skills.

Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.