We often hear or read about the dangers of young people logging on to social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, and other online spaces where they can socially interact, including Youtube, virtual worlds and gaming sites. In the online world, we know adolescents can be exposed to cyberbullying, harassment, sexting, privacy breaches and sexual predators.
Despite these negatives, many parents are surprised to discover there are also many real advantages for adolescents in connecting through social media. Research tells us that social media networking can play a vital and positive role in the development of young people and their lives.
As children progress into their adolescent years, the way they interact with their family, friends and the wider world changes. These developmental changes also influence how they use social media.