Our Teens’ Favorite Platforms

Here’s Where Our Teens Are Spending Their Time: 

What To Know About Our Teens’ Favorite Platforms


What Teens Love

The user interface makes it so easy for teens to snap and share photos, which is why teens use the app so frequently. Since snaps disappear within 24 hours*, teens don’t have to worry about projecting the right social image. There’s no perfection standard, and teens feel free to be their authentic selves. Without an ongoing tally of friends/followers, there’s no pressure to amass a large following.

What Parents Should Know

Snapstreaks are a ‘thing,’ and teens can feel pressured to respond to their friends within 24 hours to keep them going. Teens accrue social status by their number of streaks. The Discover feature has a lot of inappropriate content (specifics included in Our Complete Guide to Snapchat). Common Sense Media recommends it for ages 16+.

*‘Disappearing’ snaps and messages are actually stored on Snap’s server for 30 days, and there’s also the issue that anyone can screenshot, any time.


What Teens Love

Since users post only the ‘best’ images, teens love that there are fewer, more highly curated posts. Without hyperlinks, the interface is cleaner, plus it’s more hip and less commercialized than Facebook. It feels more private because one controls exactly what followers can see, and if tagged in an embarrassing photo, it’s buried. Teens see what they want to see in their Instafeed because there’s no pressure for social reciprocity – – e.g.: I don’t have to follow you back, even if I accept your request to follow me.

What Parents Should Know

Teens can feel pressured to present the right image and can spend hours taking selfies and trying to perfect photos with advanced  editing tools. When they don’t get the hoped for number of likes, they can feel rejected which can be internalized and lead to body image issues.  Because amassing a large following is proof of popularity, teens often begin communicating with people they don’t know. Finally, it’s surprising how much inappropriate content can be found on Instagram, (specifics included in Our Guides). It can be very difficult to insulate your teens, especially if they follow celebrities.


What Teens Love

Not only is YouTube’s content highly entertaining, but it has wide-ranging appeal, from how to code to how to apply makeup. Teens turn to YouTube when seeking instruction and love that they can learn almost anything. Teens have switched off cable TV, favoring YouTube stars, who they find more relatable than Hollywood celebs.

What Parents Should Know

While it is possible to filter content, it’s impossible to filter it all.While Youtube has deployed a team of 10,000 humans to review its content, it’s an insurmountable task given that the platform hosts 5 billion videos. Youtube does have a  ‘Restricted Mode’ setting which blocks inappropriate content, but can be easily turned off.


What Teens Love

Actually they don’t. Teens are ditching Facebook in large numbers. It’s not just the privacy breach and infiltration from foreign adversaries, but also the ads and the clutter. The only reason teens still have a Facebook account is that it’s still the best source for getting intel on someone new, and it has proven useful in organizing social movements such as March for Our Lives.

What Parents Should Know

More bullying occurs on Facebook than on any other platform. This can likely be attributed to the fact that anyone who has ‘friended’  your teen can post whatever they want on your teen’s profile. Facebook makes it easy to like or comment on negative posts, allowing multiple children to jump on the bullying bandwagon. Also, when teens participate in Groups, they may be communicating with strangers.

The Major Positives and Negatives


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