Teens and Social Media: What They Use Nowadays

facebook 76536 1280 CNN recently published an article discussing how Facebook started off as a social media site for mainly young people, but how all of that has changed now. The teens and social media dynamic changes quickly and often, so it’s important for parents to keep up with the changes in order to make sure their teens are using the platforms safely. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and more have all been added to the list of social media platforms teens commonly engage on. How teens and social media interact can be really positive, but it can also be dangerous. This may seem complicated, but it’s definitely worth your time–as a parent–to look into them and understand how they work.

What you need to know about teens and social media

Teens and social media can have a positive relationship, but it can also have negative aspects–especially if parents don’t understand what their children are using. Here are some common apps and social media platforms teens use:
Kik Messenger: Kik is a free messaging app where teens can communicate for an unlimited, free amount. The issues surrounding this app revolve around “stranger danger.” It’s easy for teens to communicate with strangers through Kik–and you won’t be able to see it because it’s not registered on your teen’s regular messenger.
Instagram: This app allows users to share photos or 15-second videos either privately or publicly. As far as teens and social media go, it can be a great artistic outlet; but it can get unhealthy when teens start measuring their self-worth through the number of likes they receive.
Tumblr: This is a cross between a blog and social media site. More often than not are profiles completely open to whoever wants to look because you have to go out of your way to make it private. A large issue with Tumblr is the easy access to inappropriate content. Oftentimes the goal of Tumblr is to get many likes and reblogs (which is like re-tweeting).
Twitter: You’ve probably heard of this one or even have an account! This one allows you to post photos, videos, or tweets 140 characters or less. Profiles are often public. It’s easy for teens to post something they regret in the heat of the moment–Twitter-wars are pretty common.
Vine: Vine is a  6-second video-sharing app. Profiles are public by default, but can be adjusted to be private. An issue with Vine is that it’s easy to find inappropriate videos.
Snapchat: This seems to be one of the hardest ones for parents to understand. On Snapchat, someone can privately send messages and photos that disappear once viewed. There’s also something called a “story” where someone can post 10-second photos or videos for all their friends to view publicly. There are privacy settings available. The issues surrounding Snapchat is that it’s easy to send inappropriate messages and photos.

Trails Carolina can help

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 10-17. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.
For more information about Trails Carolina can help your struggling student, please call 800-975-7303 today!

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Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: https://trailscarolina.com/common-ground-podcast/ With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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