Four out of ten parents worry their kids are sharing too much on social media

FOUR in 10 parents are concerned their teenage children are sharing too much on social media.

A study of 1,000 parents of 13-18 year olds found that while 66 percent think self-expression is important, 40 percent worry their offspring are saying TOO much online.

Four out of ten parents are worried their teenage kids are sharing too much on social media


Four out of ten parents are worried their teenage kids are sharing too much on social mediaPhoto credit: Getty

But 67 percent of the 1,000 teens surveyed believe self-expression and the need to speak things out are important — and they’re happy to do so virtually.

According to the study, friendships (46 percent), school (43 percent), social issues (30 percent), and mental health (28 percent) are the most popular topics discussed online among 13-18 year olds. .

But despite parents’ concerns about their teen’s openness, nearly a quarter (23 percent) admit they still shy away from talking about online safety – largely due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of social media.

And it’s not just parents who are struggling, as 22 percent of teens find it embarrassing to talk to their guardians about important matters.

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In fact, 44 percent would rather text their friends than talk to their parents — while their parents of the same age would have used a journal to open up about their thoughts or feelings (37 percent) or would have talked to a friend about it talk to a landline (35 percent).

The study was commissioned by Snapchat at launch take my words Initiative encouraging parents to share their old diary entries or a letter to their younger self to create a common ground for more open conversations with teenagers.

dr Nihara Krause, youth psychologist and teenage expert, said: “The need for privacy is a natural part of growing up.

“However, parents want reassurance that their teens are safe online and it’s difficult to find the right balance.

“Knowing where to start can feel like a minefield, but thinking about shared experiences is a good place to start.”

“Starting a discussion about online interactions and setting boundaries will also help bring clarity between parents, carers and young people.

“Once boundaries are established, parents and teens essentially have a ‘contract’ about expected behavior on both sides that can help avoid conflict in the future.”

The research further found that of those who have used a diary or journal, relationships (65 percent) were the most common topic they would write about.

This was followed by detailed information on friendships (45 percent) and sex (38 percent).

These were also popular platforms for learning about mental health issues (32 percent) and sexuality (30 percent).

Ed Couchman, Snapchat’s UK General Manager, said: “As a parent of two teenage girls, I know firsthand that these conversations can be difficult.

“The challenge for many parents is knowing where and how to start. We want to help parents start the conversation.

“Although the world feels like it’s changed, many of the problems teenagers deal with today have similarities to what we experienced growing up ourselves.

“We know it can be difficult to navigate, and we want to help more parents feel confident about starting these discussions.

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“For parents who need more information about Snapchat, we also have a huge range of resources available, including our Family Center tool and our parent’s guide.”

The Take My Word initiative is now open for submissions and the most poignant examples will be hosted in an online gallery for parents and young people starting November 16th.

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