Episode 55: Managing Social Media — Advice for Teens

Episode 55: Managing Social Media — Advice for Teens

Episode 55: Managing Social Media — Advice for Teens 1920 1080 Catholic Parents Online

Episode 55: Managing Social Media — Advice for Teens

It is always heartening to hear from teens as to how we can use social media safely and responsibly. Here is some advice from some teens to others as to how they can do just that.


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I found a recent newspaper article rather interesting. Taken from The New York Times, it shared some useful advice for teens on how to manage social media – responsibly and safely. From teens themselves!

Some of these include:

  1.     Amidst the constant bombardment of messages, one teen shared how she set her phone to “do not disturb for everyone except mum”. That way, she did not have to keep being distracted by the continuous and almost endless messages that come into our devices. Wise words, but I have a little request. Can we add “dad” too?
  2.     Unfollow pages and people that make you feel bad and negatively affect your self-esteem. In this day and age when photos are often digitally altered and body-shaming or insults are traded online, this advice is invaluable. Our children must know they are beautifully made. Wonderfully made in the image and likeness of God. And loved. That’s a very important part of our job as parents, too!
  3.     Put down your phone and go outside. Studies have shown the importance and benefits of physical activity as opposed to excessive time spent on devices. Encourage our teens to engage in meaningful and healthy outdoor activities, such as cycling, outdoor games, swimming, a walk in the park or at the beach, and so on. We were made for communion with God, through connecting with Him in nature, through forming loving relationships with people. And ultimately, for Heaven in the eternal communion of love. We were not made for communion with an artificial screen. In a sense, it is a false idol that can never satisfy the deepest longings of our heart.
  4.     The bed is for sleeping and dreaming, not for scrolling. Encourage the practice of putting the phone aside, silenced and out of reach, near bedtime, and may I add, during mealtimes and other family times as well.

Finally, the teens had some useful advice for parents too. The teens shared that we have to watch our own social media use as well. Values are caught, not just taught. It will be much more difficult to encourage healthy screen use among our teens if we ourselves are constantly scrolling through Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and so on.

Below are links to the referenced newspaper article, as well as some other episodes where we discussed how we can help our children manage social media responsibly and safely.