Social Media – A Place to Connect

Posted by on May 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Social Media – A Place to Connect

Social Media – A Place to Connect

We know the potential risks that social media plays in our young people’s lives. As parents and educators, many of our conversations with young people revolve around cyberbullying, hacking, online drama, and staying safe.

At Ophelia’s Place, we also consistently hear from girls and youth that social media is also a place where they find community, connectedness, and belonging. Social media is a place where young people are building deep, meaningful connections, often times deeper and more meaningful than the relationships they have in real life. They tell us:

  • You can meet people that share the same interests as you in different groups online.
  • It’s easier to talk to people in online chats than in real life.
  • You can have deeper conversations about topics that don’t necessarily come up as often in real life.
  • Your online presence can be a place to explore different identities so the people you meet like you for who you really are.
  • You can be more of your authentic self because you don’t feel like as many people are judging you.
  • It feels like you have more control over who can see your things so you can express more of who you really are.

During Girls Empowerment Groups and Classroom Presentations to all youth, teens share that they often don’t tell the adults in their lives what they’re doing online out of fear of judgment or criticism. As allies to students and children, it’s important for educators and parents to know the role that social media plays, to support youth as they navigate those platforms, and to build further rapport and trust.

Read more about the role social media plays with your daughter or students: how to support your daughter or students with online relationships, how to create a technology contract, or how social media exacerbates diet culture