Parents underestimate the amount of time teens spend on social media

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Parents were more likely to underestimate the time girls spent on social media compared to boys.


Parents underestimate how much time teens spend on social media, study finds
via Unsplash / Sara Kurfess

A new study has found that parents may underestimate the time their teens spend on social media. It’s no secret that teens spend a lot of time on social media and the internet. This has great benefits like learning and connecting, but parents can be concerned about their child’s safety while on these platforms. They may worry about the possibility of interacting with dangerous strangers or the impact that social media can have on their mental health. Especially when it comes to cyberbullying and body image.


It can be difficult, but some parents try to limit the time their child spends on social media.

According to Medical Xpress, a new study finds parents may not have a clear idea of ​​how much time their teenager is spending on social media. This is what a study carried out by the University of Toronto, and it can be read in full here.

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The survey found that parents felt their children spent more time on screens overall throughout the first year of the pandemic, they underestimated how much time was spent on social media and gaming. to multiplayer video games.


Jason Nagata was the lead author of the study and he said the pandemic has seen more families all at home together, but that didn’t translate into parents being more aware of what their teenager was doing online, or how much they were doing. When they looked at it with respect to gender, they found that parents were more likely to underestimate the time girls spent on social media compared to boys. Jason said that since we know screen time has doubled for young people since the pandemic, now is the perfect time for more conversations.

He said parents should have an ongoing conversation with their teens about their use of social media and how to be safe. It seems to be difficult to completely restrict the use of these apps for teens, so the best thing parents can do is keep the line of communication open and make sure their teenager knows they can access them. ‘they feel like they are. not sure online, and what to watch out for. Awareness is part of solving a problem, and studies like these go a long way in educating parents about what is going on.


Sources: Medical Xpress, University Pediatrics


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