New research is showing us the level of saturation of media use by children and youth is up dramatically. Common Sense Media released a study this year, called “Social Media, Social Life, Teens Reveal Their Exeriences, 2018” . In it, teens report an increase in social media use (34% in 2012 vs. 70% in 2018) and smartphone use (41% in 2012 vs. 89% in 2018).  and which apps their using (Facebook is out and SnapChat and Instagram are in).

These significant increases are resulting in more digital distraction from their school work with 57% of teens reporting that they are distracted by social media while studying. Teens in the study aren’t naive about why that distraction is happening either. Of those surveyed, 72% believe that tech companies manipulate them to use their devices.

Teen’s social emotional wellbeing is also being impacted, abet differently for different students. “Social media tends to have a heightened role — both positive and negative — in the lives of more vulnerable teens.”

I am committed to constant, evolving safe online education for children, youth, students, educators, caregivers, human service workers and whole communities.  Presentations and workshops address the emerging issues that these increases in online engagement by young people create.


BOOK NOW to have Merlyn Horton, SafeOnline deliver an engaging, informative internet safety presentation to your school, caregiver meeting or professional group.