Parents Underestimate Teens Social Media Activity During the Pandemic

A recent study reported that the rate of screen time with adolescents in 2020 was different than the level reported in the previous years.  

Parents didn’t know how much time children spent on their gadgets

The study authors instructed parents to calculate the amount of time their adolescent kids spent on screens during the pandemic. 

Most respondents estimated that their children utilized screen time by carrying out recreational activities. However, the study revealed that several of the parents in the study underestimated the period used by children on the screens.

 The study highlighted that most children utilized social media and video game sites rather than recreational ones. One of the leading authors, Jason Nagata, stated that even though most families spent time together during the pandemic, most parents were unaware of their children’s activities. 

Parents tend to favor girls over boys when it comes to screentime 

The study authors revealed that most parents favored female children more than males. The study highlighted that parents mostly placed strict rules to regulate the amount of screen time by the boys but not girls. 

Social media platforms can bear a powerful impact on adolescent girls more than boys. Specific issues that can influence a teenage girl’s perception of life include mental health and body image. 

A professor from the University of Toronto, Kyle T. Ganson, stated that a negative body image is primarily an outcome of many exposures to social media platforms plus unattainable body perceptions. Ganson further stated that the perceptions could lead to eating disorders and poor mental health. 

The study authors identified considerable discrepancies in the estimates provided by the family on the use of social media. The study highlighted that most of these discrepancies were recorded from African American families and those with low income. 

Several previous studies reported that the recreational screen time by adolescents doubled during the pandemic. To manage their children’s screen time, parents should discuss screen use with their children and create a plan for using the screens. 

The discussions on the number of times children utilize screens and content may develop a better understanding in the family that prevents adverse effects. 

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