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Tips for helping young people get the most out of social media

Young people can gain lots of good things from social media. It gives them the chance to feel part of something and to connect with others who like the things they do, to feel in touch with friends they can’t see in real life, to discover new ideas and to relax and have a laugh. But sadly there can also be a down side.

Here we look at how social media can affect teens' mental health, and how you can help your teen make the most of being online. For more information on helping teens to stay safe online, check out our page on online safety.

When we talk about social media here we’re referring to all websites, apps and channels that allow people to connect with others, express themselves and share thoughts, opinions, photographs and videos.

How social media can affect teens' mental health

Sitting alone in their bedrooms scrolling through other people’s lives can make people feel isolated and disconnected. Worrying about ‘likes’ and comments can dent confidence. And comparing themselves to the images they see online can make them feel they’re not good enough – even though often these images have been carefully composed and digitally altered, and aren’t a real reflection of people’s lives at all.  

In this short video, Petya Eckler explains how teens can be affected by social media.

Tips to help teens get the most out of social media

Here are some tips for helping your teen to use social media in a way that will help boost their self-esteem and body image, not knock it. In this short video, senior lecturer Petya Eckler has more advice.

Last updated: 13 Nov, 2023