UT psychologist weighs in on Instagram for 13 and under

David Yeager warned that the 10 to 13 age group is one of the most important times for brain development, especially for girls.

AUSTIN, Texas – Facebook is developing a children’s version of Instagram for people 13 and under.

Several lawmakers and attorneys general are already trying to put an end to it, citing attacks on children’s mental health. Facebook has said it prioritizes security and privacy.

But one University of Texas The psychologist warned that the age range of 10 to 13 is one of the most important periods for brain development, especially for girls. David Yeager says it’s because their brain is not yet fully developed.

“And so, if you constantly live in this fear of fighting or running away from social exile, if you don’t say or do the wrong thing online, it has profound implications for how your brain is doing. actually develops during this critical time, “Yeager says.

As a result, Yeager said it could lead to anxiety, depression, or poor mental health.

He should know. Yeager is one of the authors of a UT study it showed that the less teens enjoyed social media, the worse they felt for themselves.

“And what was so interesting was that no one received any negative comments. No one was bullied or harassed. It was just insufficient positivity compared to everyone else posting. increases depression for up to a year later, so that means kids who go to social media to try and feel better about themselves posting and hoping people will like it often, inevitably, won’t get as many likes as they want and end up feeling worse than they would have if they hadn’t posted it, ”he said.

Yeager said not all social media is bad. Instagram is good for connecting.

“Teenagers feel really isolated. Loneliness is at an all time high. Symptoms of anxiety have tripled since the start of the pandemic and it was already getting worse. So the ability to share what matters to you with others is basically good for psychological health. This is actually what really brings these days to life is when we can share the important parts of ourselves with people who care about us. So the positive side would be one way. for young children to share their passions and interests, ”Yeager said.

“The downside, however, is that everything we see adults do on reality shows that we despise – about comparing themselves and getting into a storm and fighting all the time – teens will. , and they will do it with even less self-control than what we see on Bravo. And it will be a real challenge for teens to use social media in a positive way that leads to psychological health rather than a way that constantly makes them feel like they’re never measuring up to what they’re meant to be, ”he said.

RELATED: 44 Attorneys General Urge Facebook To Ditch Instagram For Kids Idea

Ultimately, Yeager doesn’t recommend Instagram for the 10 to 13-year-old crowd, but he said there are ways for this age group to satisfy their social media cravings.

“Use screens to create a new video to send to a family member who has been alone … Use screens to research a new social justice issue in Austin and have your kids develop a new campaign marketing tools to share with their friends. There are ways to satisfy the desire to be on screens and to share things with social media that help train our children to be the great citizens that our society will meet in the future. Yeager said.

Here are some apps parents should watch out for online:

  • Discord – Discord is an application where students can create “servers” or different groups with which to chat, send pictures and even call or video chat.
  • Snapchat – It can be used by students to share pictures, stories and short videos. However, they can configure them to disappear when opened and this can sometimes be used to send inappropriate images.
  • TIC Tac – Students take videos and upload them to the web. There have been a few incidents reported where students shared on TikTok and then strangers took snippets of their videos and harassed them for what they were saying.

This is a warning on TikTok found on Google:

“While much of TikTok is harmless fun, there are real concerns about children’s use of the app. As with any social network, you should use privacy settings to limit the amount of information that you and your kids share. Because you can post videos immediately without first reviewing or editing them, kids can download them impulsively. “

This is a parent’s guide on TikTok to help keep your kids safe. This is an article on the best apps to monitor your kid’s social media. More, this device provides filtering at your place.

This application can be installed on devices to monitor activity. It takes a screenshot every 30-60 seconds.

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