“According to a 2015 Pew Research study, 92% of teens reported going online daily. We now live in a world where the miles between us easily disappear as friends chat, share pictures, and message one another online.This access means young people can create connections, but they may also have to contend with some pretty negative things, from cyberbullying to body image issues to social media anxiety. In a selfie-obsessed world where trolls can use 140 characters to cut someone down anonymously, what’s the real impact of social media on our boys? Body Image.”According to Netsanity, boys can be strongly influenced by images on social media.

About 30% of girls and 20% of boys – 6.3 million teens – have had an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Social media can create connectedness, but it can also isolate and make feelings of loneliness feel more intense as we compare our lives to those we see reflected online.

It’s important to remember that social platforms are a human highlight reel of everyone’s life with posts about game day victories, prom proposals, and summer vacations.

As a parent, it’s important to set a good example and monitor your own social media presence and usage.

Be present with your boys and create phone-free zones such as dinner time or until homework is complete.

Keeping an eye on his social media is important, but real conversation is even more so, as even the most practiced eye finds it hard to spot signs of depression in our social media.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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