Why Adults Should Connect With Teens on Social Media

Shutterstock 

Teens turn to social media as a platform to express themselves freely without judgment or admonishment from adults. In other words, they probably don’t want you meddling in their online social lives—and you might not want to, either.

Accessing the ever-open window into teens’ lives can feel awkward and invasive for both of you, but according to a new study from Drexel University, it’s time to bridge the generation gap.

Researchers surveyed students from one high school that prohibits teacher-student online interaction and one that encourages it and found that the interactions can benefit teens in the following ways:

Building community: Students from the high school that embraces teen-faculty online interaction reported feeling closer to their teachers and principals due to the openness of communication outside the classroom.

Finding information: Those students also claimed to benefit from having such quick and easy access to their teachers outside of school, which they utilized to receive help with assignments.

Supporting development of online skills: Being aware of their elders’ eye on their content helped students to understand the illusion of online “privacy” and prompted them to monitor their posts for appropriateness. 

As long as you feel comfortable, go ahead and connect with your students/athletes/children on social media. Your online presence will help them learn what it means to use technology appropriately and responsibly, and you may be pleasantly surprised to learn all of the amazing things that teens do online.