Not everyone is a fan of social media, but social media is a huge part of our lives. Many young people prefer online communication through texting, chatting, and direct messages compared to face-to-face communication. Online platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc., can be positive tools, providing a sense of belonging to a community of like interests and an added connection to friends. While online platforms have many positive tools–they can come at a cost.
Online platforms often come with negative comments and messaging that can have a harsh effect on young people’s development, leaving you unprepared to support and comfort youth in response to these negative experiences.
Supporting youth in the digital age can be a difficult job, and parents and caregivers are tasked with the majority of the work of comforting youth in response to negative experiences. Search Institute’s extensive work with families offers insights into how to help you build support and comfort for young people as they engage with social media. We also have some tips and strategies to combat the negative effects and promote positive outcomes.
Tips and Strategies
Perla Ramos Carranza, Robyn Douglas, and Stephen Gibson received Search Institute’s Summer Scholars Fellowships for 2022. The research fellowship focused on equity and inclusion in youth development with the goal of producing actionable research that utilizes Search Institute's existing data, and significantly contributes to advancing the science and practice of positive youth development. Robyn researched civic-oriented positive youth development among Black youth, Perla studied the role of families and community organizations in the positive development of Latino/a/x youth, and Stephen focused on Black parenting strategies in relation to the five elements of the Developmental Relationships Framework. Each fellow wrote a blog discussing their research findings.