Social Media Etiquette + Silent Teens | Ep. 154

Social Media Etiquette + Silent Teens | Ep. 154

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A Guide to Fostering Positive Social Media Etiquette

Social media has undeniably become an integral part of our lives, especially for teenagers who often find themselves navigating its complexities daily. Unfortunately, as much as it can be a platform for connection and inspiration, it can also be a breeding ground for toxicity and negativity. As parents and caring adults, it’s important to help our teens cultivate positive social media practices to ensure their online experiences are enriching rather than damaging.

 

Here are some key strategies to promote positivity and encouragement on social media.

Pause Before Posting

Before hitting that post button, take a moment to reflect. If what you’re about to share is polarizing or excessively negative, consider stepping away for a while. Give yourself time to cool off and reconsider whether your words will contribute to a constructive conversation or add to the noise.

Spread Kindness

Make a conscious effort to post something kind every day or every week. It could be a compliment, a word of encouragement, or simply sharing something uplifting. By actively seeking opportunities to spread positivity, you not only brighten someone else’s day but also contribute to a more wholesome online environment.

Remember the Human Behind the Screen

It’s easy to forget that there are real people with feelings behind every profile picture and username. Treat others on social media with the same respect and empathy you would in face-to-face interactions. Avoid making hurtful comments or resorting to cyberbullying, as words typed on a screen can have profound effects on someone’s mental well-being.

Exercise the Power to Unfollow

Not every social media interaction will be positive or beneficial.

If you come across content or accounts that consistently bring negativity into your feed, remember that you have the power to unfollow.

It’s okay to curate your online space to prioritize content that aligns with your values and uplifts your spirit. And remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for hitting that unfollow button.

Lead by Example

Our teens are constantly observing our behavior, both online and offline, and are likely to emulate what they see.

By practicing and promoting these social media habits ourselves, we demonstrate the importance of fostering a culture of kindness and positivity in our digital communities.

Let’s work together to make social media a place where our teens can thrive, connect authentically, and be inspired to become their best selves. It starts with each of us committing to being a force for good in the digital world.

Also in this episode

How can we get shy or quiet teens to engage and talk?

We have a few ideas.

    1. Group questions where everyone answers.
    2. Find their “thing” that will get them talking.
    3. Specifically ask if they have something to add.
    4. Encourage participation without making them talk.
    5. Connect one-on-one.

Teen Terms Mentioned

Ate

Doing something impressively. Similar to “killed it” or “rocked it” for millennials or Gen Xers.

Example: She ate that performance. = She gave a really impressive performance.

Era

Era is commonly used to describe someone’s current interests or priorities.

FR

The term “FR” is an abbreviation for “For Real” or “For Real?”

Main Character Energy

Main Character Energy represents somebody who exudes confidence, charisma, and embodies the essence of being the protagonist in their own life narrative.

Merchant

Used to describe someone which does something repeatedly or relies on the referenced thing or action.

Example: Julian is a jump shot merchant.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources about teen terms and social media etiquette.

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

About Us

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Tobin Hodges

Tobin Hodges

Program Director

Caleb Hatchett

Caleb Hatchett

Podcast Host

Follow Us

More Resources You Might Like

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Ep. 119 Diverse Families- Multi-Cultural/Multiracial Families
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Palworld + Teen Dating Advice | Ep. 146

Palworld + Teen Dating Advice | Ep. 146

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Teen dating terms and tips every parent should know.

What advice would you give your teenage self about dating?

Despite vast changes in the romantic landscape, the emotional high of teen romance is universal. If anything, it’s amplified by being constantly connected, a heightened sense of vigilance, and a lack of commitment or trust. Teenagers are dealing with all the dangers and emotional disconnect of a techno world, adding to the emotional stress of being a teenager.

So what can parents and other caring adults do to help?

 

The number one desire of nearly every teenager is a caring adult who is willing to listen! Listening without judgment is the first step to helping teens navigate relationships in a healthy, constructive way.

That said, here’s our top advice for teens to stay healthy in dating relationships:

Dating should be a thrilling experience filled with laughter, butterflies, and meaningful connections. To help make the most of the dating journey, here are some essential tips to keep in mind.

Embrace the Fun

Dating should be a source of joy and excitement, not stress or pressure. Remember, it’s okay to feel nervous, but try to focus on the positive aspects of getting to know someone new. Keep things light-hearted, enjoy each other’s company, and don’t forget to laugh along the way. The goal is to create memorable experiences and forge connections that bring happiness into your life.

Maintain Your Independence

While it’s exciting to spend time with a romantic partner, it’s essential to retain your sense of independence and nurture your friendships. Don’t let your relationship consume all of your time and energy. Continue pursuing your interests, hanging out with friends, and prioritizing your own well-being. A healthy relationship should complement your life, not overshadow it.

Set Clear Boundaries

Establishing boundaries is crucial in any relationship, especially during the early stages of dating. Be upfront about your expectations and limits from the beginning. Boundaries aren’t just about physical intimacy; they also encompass emotional needs and personal space. For example, you might decide to take things slow, refrain from discussing long-term commitments like marriage, or set limits on the amount of time you spend together to ensure you maintain a healthy balance in your life.

Be mindful of each other’s feelings, thoughts, and personal space. Avoid pressuring your partner into sharing more than they’re comfortable with or making assumptions about their emotions. Healthy communication and empathy are key to navigating emotional boundaries and building trust in your relationship.

Prioritize Your Time

It’s essential to maintain a sense of balance in your life. Make sure to allocate time for your friends, family, hobbies, and responsibilities outside of your relationship. Setting aside designated time for these activities not only enriches your life but also prevents you from becoming overly dependent on your partner for fulfillment.

Listen to the full conversation on the podcast or you can read more tips in our blog post Teenage Romance: Tips for Teens and Parents!

Teen Terms Translated

Situationship: According to dictionary.com, “A situationship is often discussed as being similar to a friends-with-benefits relationship, which usually involves sexual activity without a commitment to be exclusive to each other. A situationship is often described as a relationship that is more than friendship but less than a committed relationship.”

Ick: The ick is a sudden feeling of disgust that seems to come out of nowhere. It can happen when a dating partner does or says something that makes them suddenly unattractive.

Red flag: Like it sounds, a red flag signals that something is not ok. It suggests that there is something unhealthy or even dangerous about a person or a relationship.

Green flag: A green flag is an enthusiastic endorsement of a person or relationship. It’s the idea that it might be true love.

Beige Flag: It’s not a red flag level concern, but a beige flag is something that just leaves you wondering why someone would post something. It can also be a beige flag for someone or something that is lacking in personality or is just “blah”.

Pink Flag: A pink flag is something that seems like a red flag at first, but after getting to know the person, there’s enough clarification to say that it’s really ok.

Also in this episode:

  • Palworld is the latest in popular online gaming for teens.
  • Taylor Swift is furious after a social media challenge led to explicit deepfakes of her circulating on Twitter.
  • Did you know? Apple recently updated everyone’s phone and installed the Journal app, which allows teens and adults to save photos and text behind a password, regardless of parental controls.
  • BeReal streaks– what are they and are they a good thing?

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources.

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

About Us

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Tobin Hodges

Tobin Hodges

Program Director

Caleb Hatchett

Caleb Hatchett

Podcast Host

Follow Us

More Resources You Might Like

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Cheating and Artificial Intelligence Hoaxes, Deepfakes, and more
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Lapse + Meta Lawsuit + Teacher Burnout + Advent | Ep. 136

Lapse + Meta Lawsuit + Teacher Burnout + Advent | Ep. 136

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How to Help Tired Teachers with Mid-Year Burnout

As winter break approaches, teachers, parents, and students all struggle to finish the semester strong. Kids are crazy. Tired teachers struggle to get all the grades in and contain classrooms of tired, excitable students. It gets dark earlier. How can everyone survive this time of year?

Here are just a few ways parents can help tired teachers.

Open Communication

Maintain open and respectful communication with teachers. Establishing a positive relationship allows for discussing concerns or challenges, fostering a supportive environment for both parties.

Respect Boundaries

Understand and respect teachers’ time and boundaries. Avoid expecting immediate responses after school hours and be mindful of their workload.

Support Classroom Policies

Familiarize yourself with classroom policies and support teachers in implementing them. Consistency between home and school environments can ease teachers’ workload and create a conducive learning atmosphere.

Volunteering and Assistance

Offer to volunteer or assist in classroom activities, field trips, or projects. Your involvement can alleviate some of the workload and demonstrate support for the teacher.

Encourage Positive Behavior

Reinforce positive behavior and values taught in the classroom at home. This alignment helps create a consistent and supportive environment for learning.

Regular Updates

Stay informed about your child’s progress and any updates from the school. Respond promptly to communications from teachers to facilitate a smoother interaction and support their efforts.

Appreciation and Recognition

Express gratitude and appreciation for the work teachers do. A simple thank-you note or gesture can go a long way in boosting their morale and motivation.

Respectful Disagreements

In case of disagreements or concerns, address them respectfully and directly with the teacher. Open dialogue and collaboration can lead to effective resolutions.

Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs)

Participate actively in PTAs or school committees. Contributing to the school community and initiatives can indirectly support teachers by improving overall school dynamics.

Understanding Challenges

Recognize the challenges teachers face, such as managing diverse student needs or adapting to changing educational standards. Having empathy for these challenges can help create a more supportive environment.

Be sure to listen to the full episode for Tobin’s tips on tone and other ways to help everyone make it to winter break!

Also in this episode:

  • The Lapse app, 3rd in the App Store a couple of weeks ago, has now outpaced TikTok and Google. The app mimics a disposable camera that snaps pictures and then has a wait period (as the film “develops”) before you can view them.
  • States across the US have filed a lawsuit against Meta saying that Meta — which owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger — violated consumer protection laws by unfairly ensnaring children and deceiving users about the safety of its platforms. It accuses Meta of having profoundly altered the psychological and social realities of a generation of young Americans.
  • Not everyone participates in Christmas, but there are many winter holidays and traditions to celebrate.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources about the Lapse app, social media lawsuits, and winter holiday traditions.

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

About Us

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Tobin Hodges

Tobin Hodges

Program Director

Caleb Hatchett

Caleb Hatchett

Podcast Host

Follow Us

More Resources You Might Like

Taking the Stress out of Holiday Traditions
Episode 36: Christmas Traditions
2023 Teen Christmas Gift Guide

Girl Math + Spicy Chip Challenge + RushTok + Body Image | Ep. 128

Girl Math + Spicy Chip Challenge + RushTok + Body Image | Ep. 128

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Navigating Teen Trends and Promoting Positive Body Image

As parents, educators, and caregivers, it’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing trends and challenges that teenagers face. In episode 128, we explain some of the most prevalent teen trends, from “Girl Math” to the “Spicy Chip Challenge” to “RushTok”. We’ll also discuss the critical issue of teenagers’ body image and offer actionable advice on how to promote healthy self-esteem in teens.

Unpacking Girl Math and Girl Dinner

If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen at least one influencer post talking about “Girl Math” or “Girl Dinner.” Both have garnered attention for their quirky and sometimes unsettling nature.

Especially on TikTok, teenagers enthusiastically share videos of their unique culinary concoctions and eating habits.

While on the surface, these trends may seem innocuous or even humorous, it’s worth delving deeper into their implications for teenagers’ relationships with food and body image.

“Girl Dinner” – The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Imagine a dinner that consists of nothing more than a solitary cube of cheese or a handful of popcorn. Welcome to the world of “Girl Dinner.”

This trend showcases teenagers (and women) preparing and consuming meals that defy conventional expectations of what a meal should be. For some, it’s about embracing minimalism, while for others, it may be an attempt at humor or even a cry for attention.

At first glance, these seemingly bizarre meal choices might appear to be harmless. However, they provide a unique lens for examining the complex intersection of youth culture, social media, and body image.

The Impact on Teenagers

The impact of trends like “Girl Dinner” goes beyond just sharing quirky meals on social media. It delves into the intricate relationship that adolescents have with food and their bodies.

Here’s how these trends can influence teenagers:
  1. Normalizing Extreme Behavior
    By celebrating and sharing outlandish meals, teenagers may inadvertently normalize extreme eating habits or dietary restrictions. While it’s crucial to respect individuals’ dietary choices, these trends sometimes glorify unhealthy or unsustainable eating patterns.
  2. Body Image and Comparison
    Social media often fosters an environment where teenagers compare themselves to others. When they see peers engaging in “Girl Dinner” trends, they might feel pressured to conform or question their own eating habits. This can exacerbate existing body image issues or lead to the development of new ones.
  3. Seeking Validation
    Posting unconventional meals can also be a way for teenagers to seek validation and attention online. The number of likes, comments, or shares on these posts can become a metric for self-worth, reinforcing the idea that appearances and eating habits are closely tied to validation.
  4. Distorted Perceptions
    These trends can contribute to a distorted perception of what constitutes a “normal” meal, further complicating teenagers’ understanding of nutrition and healthy eating.

In the grand scheme of internet trends, “Girl Dinner” and its counterparts are fun when taken as originally intended, but the quantity of concerning posts that have come in their wake and their potential to impact teenagers’ physical and mental well-being should not be underestimated.

As responsible adults and guardians, it’s essential to engage in open conversations with teenagers about these trends. Encouraging them to think critically about what they see and share on social media can help them develop a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

By fostering a supportive and understanding environment, we can empower teenagers to navigate these trends with confidence, prioritize their well-being, and ultimately make informed choices about what they choose to consume, both online and at the dinner table.

The Spicy Chip Challenge: More Than Just a Dare

The Spicy Chip Challenge, featuring the infamous Paqui One Chip, is a phenomenon that has left both teenagers and adults bewildered- and sometimes seriously affected. Packaged in a striking coffin-shaped box, the Paqui One Chip boldly boasts of being made for the “vengeful pleasure of intense heat and pain.” While the packaging itself sets the stage for an unusual experience, the challenge takes it to a whole new level.

The rules of the challenge are simple: participants must consume the Paqui chip and then endure the scorching heat it brings for as long as possible without consuming any other food or water. On the surface, it may seem like a silly stunt, but the consequences have been anything but light-hearted.

In fact, in August, a chilling incident unfolded in Massachusetts, where one teenager tragically lost their life due to complications arising from the Spicy Chip Challenge. Beyond this tragedy, numerous other young individuals have had to seek medical attention after attempting the challenge. From severe stomachaches to breathing difficulties, the injuries sustained are a testament to the potential dangers lurking behind seemingly harmless internet challenges.

What makes the Spicy Chip Challenge all the more concerning is the fact that, although the packaging claims it’s “for adults only,” it remains readily available for purchase by teenagers. The allure of viral fame and internet stardom has led many young content creators to embrace the challenge. YouTubers, streamers, and TikTokers have taken it up, often using it as a form of punishment or a way to attract views and likes.

We really can’t help but wonder if the company behind the Paqui chip genuinely expected teenagers to steer clear of this popular trend merely because of a warning label. The intoxicating allure of social media fame can easily override common sense, especially when told not to.

Not the First

The Spicy Chip Challenge and its associated risks bear an uncanny resemblance to past trends like the “pass out” or “blackout” challenge that have periodically swept through teen culture. These challenges involve intentionally causing oneself to faint, often resulting in severe injuries and, in some cases, fatalities.

It is a troubling pattern that underscores the need for greater vigilance and awareness regarding the content and challenges that captivate young audiences.

Taking Action

Fortunately, in response to the growing concerns and incidents associated with the Spicy Chip Challenge, the chip has been pulled from the shelves in most retailers. Additionally, the company has taken steps to offer reimbursement for those who still possess the chip, acknowledging the gravity of the situation.

But as caring adults, this challenge, like most, is just another example of the importance of keeping an on-going conversation with teenagers about critical thinking and how to discern between harmless fun and unnecessary risk.

 

RushTok: Inside the World of Sorority Rush and Its Impact on Teens

Centered around sorority rush events, “RushTok” has gained significant traction.

RushTok revolves around the entire sorority rush experience, from the preparation and outfit selections to the exhilarating anticipation of bid day.

Here’s a closer look at the various facets of this very popular trend:

OOTD Videos and the Golden Goose Obsession

Outfit of the Day (OOTD) videos have become a hallmark of RushTok. Teenagers eagerly share their daily attire choices as they navigate the intricate process of sorority rush, with some of the “fits” weighing in at tens of thousands of dollars. The fashion element of these videos is accentuated by the notable popularity of Golden Goose shoes. These trendy, high-end sneakers have become coveted staples in many teens’ wardrobes, adding an extra layer of excitement to the outfits featured on RushTok.

Choreographed Dances Straight Out of “Bring It On”

,RushTok has also brought choreographed dances reminiscent of the iconic cheerleading battles in the movie “Bring It On.” Often set in the sorority house, with dancers performing synchronized moves, the commitment and creativity displayed in these choreographies are just one more show the enthusiasm that surrounds the rush process (and the commitment required of all its participants).

Bama Rush Doc: An Inside Perspective

Recently, HBO Max release a documentary series, called “Bama Rush Doc,” offering a behind-the-scenes look at the intense sorority rush process, particularly in the context of the University of Alabama. This series provides a glimpse into the rigorous selection criteria, the emotional rollercoaster experienced by participants, and the immense pressure associated with securing a coveted spot in a sorority.

The Weight of Self-Criticism

One poignant quote from the ‘Bama Rush Doc series captures the essence of the sorority rush experience: “What I say about myself I would never say about anyone else.” This phrase reflects the significant self-criticism and pressure that many young women feel during the rush process. The desire to fit in, make a lasting impression, and gain acceptance can lead to internalized expectations and self-doubt.

The RushTok trend sheds light on the multifaceted nature of sorority rush, offering a platform for teens to share their experiences, connect with others going through similar situations, and showcase their creativity and style.

However, it also underscores the importance of acknowledging the challenges and pressures that come with these experiences.

 

As responsible adults, it’s crucial to engage in open and supportive conversations with teenagers participating in or witnessing these trends. By fostering a safe space for discussion and addressing any concerns or insecurities that may arise, we can help young individuals navigate the complexities of sorority rush, social media, and peer expectations while promoting their emotional well-being and self-confidence.

How to Promote a Positive Body Image in Teens

We all know that body image is a sensitive topic at any age. It’s well-documented that body image issues can manifest in children as young as three years old, with girls often experiencing more significant negative outcomes, such as eating disorders. A myriad of factors contribute to these challenges, including cultural influences, social media, television and movies, constant comparisons to others, and parents’ attitudes towards their own bodies.

The Current Landscape of Teen Body Image Culture

The present body image culture for teenagers is characterized by a multitude of influences, many of which can have adverse effects on self-esteem and self-worth.

Here are some prevalent aspects of this culture:
  1. Posed Photos
    The ubiquity of carefully posed and filtered photos on social media platforms can create unrealistic beauty standards. Teens may feel compelled to present an idealized version of themselves online, leading to feelings of inadequacy.
  2. Filters and Apps
    The accessibility of filters and photo-editing apps allows individuals to alter their appearances effortlessly. While these tools can be fun and creative, they can also contribute to unrealistic beauty expectations.
  3. Plastic Surgery
    The normalization of cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery has grown among teens. The pursuit of physical perfection can have significant consequences on their self-esteem and body image.
  4. TikTok Influences
    TikTok, a popular platform among teenagers, features content promoting various beauty standards, weight loss techniques, teeth whitening methods, workout routines, diets, and pills. These trends can perpetuate unrealistic expectations and unhealthy behaviors.

Promoting Positive Body Image

While the landscape of teen body image culture may seem daunting, there are practical steps we can take to help teenagers develop a positive relationship with their bodies and themselves:

  1. Compliment the Non-Physical
    Encourage teenagers to appreciate and celebrate their talents, skills, and character traits. Shift the focus away from physical appearance and towards recognizing their unique qualities that make them exceptional individuals.
  2. Talk About Food in a Healthy Way
    Initiate discussions about food as nourishment for the body. Promote the importance of balanced and mindful eating, emphasizing the value of consuming a variety of foods that provide essential nutrients.
  3. Model Self-Acceptance
    Lead by example when it comes to self-acceptance and self-love. Avoid speaking negatively about your own body or engaging in self-criticism. Demonstrating self-confidence and body positivity can set a powerful precedent for teenagers.
  4. Encourage Critical Media Literacy
    Teach teenagers to critically evaluate media messages and images. Help them understand that many images in media and on social platforms are often edited or filtered. Encourage them to question beauty standards and be discerning consumers of content.
  5. Open Communication
    Create an open and non-judgmental space for teenagers to express their feelings and concerns about body image. Encourage them to talk about any pressures they may feel or experiences that have affected their self-esteem.

Promoting positive body image in teenagers is an ongoing process that requires patience, understanding, and consistent support. By focusing on these actionable steps and fostering a healthy self-image, we can help teenagers navigate the complex world of body image culture with confidence and resilience, empowering them to embrace their uniqueness and value as individuals.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources about sibling dynamics, Taylor Swift, and more.

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

About Us

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Tobin Hodges

Tobin Hodges

Program Director

Caleb Hatchett

Caleb Hatchett

Podcast Host

Follow Us

More Resources You Might Like

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Ep. 106: Depression & Lemon8

Ep. 106: Depression & Lemon8

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The difference between a moody teen and a depressed teen

Teens are known for being moody and bad humored, but 42% of today’s teenagers show symptoms of clinical depression. In episode 106, Chris and Karlie will share signs of depression versus typical teen behavior. They’ll also discuss possible steps for parents and other caring adults to take if you think a teen you love needs help.

Then, if you still don’t know much about Lemon8, you’ll want to tune in to learn more about this quickly spreading app. We’ve got details about what it is and how teens are using it.

Resources on depression and Lemon8

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

About Us

Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Follow Us

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