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Influencers: Time to Be Realistic About Body Image on Social Media

Social media is skewing the way children view life, according to Damian Hinds, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Education in an article in the Metro (UK). Hinds makes this statement following the Mental Health Foundation’s finding that 40 per cent of teenagers reported being worried about their body image due to comments by friends. He is calling on influencers and others to help support body positivity, in part by being more transparent about how photos they post online are edited.

Google Adding a Media Literacy Component

TechCrunch reports Google is adding a media-literacy component to its digital citizenship and safety curriculum for children, called "Be Internet Awesome." The updated program will include six activities designed to help young Internet users identify fake URLs, interpret clickbait headlines and evaluate sources. Not a bad thing for parents to brush up on either!

Snapchat Publishes New Report on the Influence of Technology on Gen Z

While written primarily for marketing companies on how brands can connect with Generation Z, a new report compiled by Snapchat offers a fascinating look into the influence of technology on this age group. One of the key takeaways from the 70-page "Into Z Future" report is that 55% say social apps and digital content provide a more creative experience than the physical world. The report also found that 56% use social media to express themselves creatively and 49% seek inspiration from social media.

 

A New Alliance of Media Giants to Fight Misinformation and Hate Speech

A new coalition, Global Alliance for Responsible Media, has been formed to address brand safety issues and combat online hate speech and fake content. The coalition includes numerous industry heavyweights and social media standouts such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Unilever, General Mills, Procter & Gamble and Adidas, plus various marketing agencies and other industry associations. “When industry challenges spill into society, creating division and putting our children at risk, it’s on all of us to act,” writes Luis Di Como, EVP of global media at the giant consumer brands company Unilever, in an article on the Reuters site. “Founding this alliance is a great step toward rebuilding trust in our industry and society.”

Social Media Alerts Stress Young People

Keeping up with a constant stream of social media notifications on their phones is one of the main drivers of stress among students, reports The Associated Press. Some schools are taking steps to help reduce students' stress and anxiety, such as  engaging students in mindfulness activities, hiring outside firms to scan social media for signs that students might need additional support, and encouraging “unplugging” from devices. One teacher says he has seen a profound shift toward constant self-evaluation in the past 30 years that he’s been teaching, and he associates that with social media. He sees students constantly checking their Instagram, SnapChat, and even school grade portals – all outside forces students have never before had to manage.

Is Fortnite The New Facebook for Teens?

Do your children play Fortnite? They may be using it for more than gaming. National Research Group (NRG) recently released a study that found that “Fortnite uniquely combines benefits from gaming, social media and streaming platforms,” with young consumers telling them “it’s the best place to ‘be my authentic self’ and ‘connect to what everyone is talking about, making me feel like I’m not alone.’” While the top social platforms still have more users, Fortnite’s user base volume is catching up to the likes of Twitter.

Economic, Social, and Political Optimism at Record Lows for Young People

Just 26% of millennials and Generation Z across the world believe the economic prospects in their home countries will improve in the next year, a figure that has never before dropped below 40%, Deloitte reports in MediaPost Communications. The study, diving into behaviors, perceptions, and beliefs of the young generations, also reports that these groups are “disillusioned, expressing dissatisfaction with their money situation, jobs, government, the way their data is used — and their lives in general”. Interestingly, about 60% say they’d be happier if they spent less time on social media.

Usage of Certain Social Media Platforms Down

Facebook and Snapchat users ages 18 and over in the US are spending around 38 and 26 minutes daily, respectively, on the platforms, while Instagram usage is on the upswing, according to eMarketer. The research firm attributes the changes to Facebook's drop in younger users and a move toward discouraging passive content consumption, Snapchat's app redesign and Instagram's increasing engagement through Stories and influencer content. What social media platform do you use the most now?

Parents Say Bullying is Widespread

According to a recent article in Education Week , 47.7% of 6- to 10-year-old children and more than 50% of children older than 11 have reported experiences of being bullied. The survey of parents by Comparitech also found that over 82.8% of bullying takes place at school, and online it's most common for children to be bullied on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. What is your experience? Is there more or less bullying going on despite the abundance of programs aimed at combating it?

Is Social Media Tied to the Happiness of Teens?

In the United Kingdom, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that time spent on social media has only a minor impact on life satisfaction (happiness) among adolescents. The authors of the study caution that although the data shows that time spent on social media may not be harming the emotional well-being of teens in the ways that experts often predict, the study only looked at the amount of time the children had spent online – not what they were doing during that time.  That is an interesting take away for parents (and experts)who seem to focus so much of their concern limiting screen time, rather than considering where their kids are spending that time.

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