Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Healthy Social Media Use

Social media can be a great and positive outlet for teens and adults.
 

You Can Use Social Media To:

  • Keep up with family and friends
  • Share fun pieces of your life and things you enjoy
  • Follow people that you admire or those that inspire you

What’s the Big Deal About Social Media?

Online Is Not Anonymous

About 2.78 billion people use social media. It’s important to beware of what you share on these platforms. Often, the information about who you interact with, what sites you visit and what you buy is being used by a third-party. No law protects the digital privacy of teenagers 13 years and older.

Cyberbullying CAN Kill

Cyberbullying is bullying that occurs over the internet or phones and has actually been linked to increased risks of suicidal thoughts and attempts. These suicidal thoughts and attempts were increased among those that were both being bullied AND those that were doing the bullying.

Online Gaming Can Go Too Far

Gaming can be a fun, positive outlet—a place to talk with friends, and of course, “save the world.” It’s important to play responsibly and watch for warning signs that your gaming has gone too far, including:

  • Experiencing sadness or isolation
  • No longer spending time with friends in real life
  • Missing out on big things in your life
  • Dropping grades

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends two hours max for gaming per day. For good sleeping habits, don’t forget to turn those screens off one hour before going to bed.

Why Your Parents May Be Nervous About Social Media

  • Social media is new and something your parents are probably not as familiar with as you are.
  • They may be nervous about how much time you are spending on social media and who you’re communicating with online.
  • You can help reassure your parents by sharing.

Still have questions? Come see us.

Our adolescent medicine team has special training to meet the unique needs of teens. We're here to help guide you and answer any questions you might have.

The information here is not intended to be nor should be used as a substitute for medical evaluation or treatment by a health care professional. This publication is for information purposes only and the reader assumes all associated risks.

Content experts: Zach Spoehr-Labutta, M.D., Brittany Odom, M.D., and Jasmine Reese, M.D., M.P.H.

References:

  1. Geel, Mitch Van, et al. “Relationship Between Peer Victimization, Cyberbullying, and Suicide in Children and Adolescents.” JAMA Pediatrics
  2. Shain, Benjamin N. “Suicide and Suicide Attempts in Adolescents.” Pediatrics