Smart Teenager talks about reality of social media, We respond. | Be Secure Online


Smart Teenager talks about reality of social media, We respond.

online family protection, teenagers on snapchat, teenagers need tiktok, teenagrers need their phone


This intelligent commentary was sent in by a teenager in Bristol. Aside from basic grammar and spelling mistakes here is her unedited thoughts. 
I feel that screen limits should really depend on the kid. My brother is driven to do anything restricted from him. Screen time is annoying especially now during corona because I only get 20 minutes of Snapchat and less than 3 on other social media apps. My mom turned off-screen time for a while accidentally and I felt more open towards her and used my phone about 2 1/2 hrs a day but when she turned them back on, my screen time went up to 5 hrs a day because I felt a need to use the maximum time allowed on my phone.

The same with my brothers. I would wake up every day and make sure to use all the time given on the limited apps so that I never wasted my screen time. Screen limits can develop a more addictive personality if not used right. The worst thing for a teen is to open an app, their only way to contact friends (usually Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok or whatever) and realize their friends have been texting them or trying to figure out something important but you didn’t respond in time. It’s also awkward giving your phone number out to everyone. After all, you have a time limit on apps because a lot of my friends only respond to Snapchat and don’t respond when I text them.

So I understand when parents say it’s dangerous, but you are breaking your kids' trust. The best way to use limits for kids aged 12 or over is to tell your kids to monitor their screen usage, and then if they continue to find themselves addicted, set a temporary limit for a few days and then check upon them. Then if you turn off limits, your child will most likely check their screen time every day and feel more freedom while understanding they have a limit. I understand the limits on games but social media?

I would say work on developing your kids' ability to watch their screen time. The worst feeling is when your parent does not trust you and puts so many restrictions on your phone you feel severed from any connection with friends, incredibly important to only children or kids who don’t live in a neighbourhood. I do not feel like I can trust my mom because she thinks all social media apps are for sex or suggestive ideas. It’s hard to talk to friends about this because they don’t understand.


This is a perfect example of closing the gate after the horse has bolted. When we are in complete Government lockdown, we (parents) need flexibility in dealing with teenagers online. 

Parental control apps have been used to block access to social media like TikTok, Snapchat. She has stated that she can't text her friends as friends don't read texts, that's so 2008, the last century for today's teen.  We have spoken to her, and she's very reasonable in person. 

The parents are trying to protect their kids online however they don't understand how parental control apps work. It's important not to overuse them or being too strict backfires. 

Time Limits

Are ideally used with kids under 11, once they hit 12 or even you might need to discuss time limits with your kids and come to an agreement with your children. You can still use the option broadly. 

Teenagers don't communicate using text they prefer Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram or other Social Media. That's a fact, millions of parents hate TikTok and especially Snapchat.  Blanket banning Snapchat or social media won't work. But you can still use parental control here to protect them, ensure homework gets done, and get some real family time.

Trust & Verify

She is just annoyed and frustrated and says her Mum doesn't understand, refuses to accept that Snapchat is for anything other than sexting, and perverted suggestions. We have suggested turning this situation on its head using parental control to build trust, protect her, and give her some more time online (expanding her usage to 3.5 hours a day minimum at least).  She makes the point forcibly that imposing limits only makes kids more inclined to use their devices more, the forbidden fruit.

True, but more discussion is needed to agree to limits and build the best user habits. 

APP Blocking

True, but more discussion is needed here, combining Time limits and App blocking like locking here out from Snapchat is what some people would call decapitation to treat dandruff. These two options are perfect for 6-11 years olds, but cause friction with teenagers.  So the lesson is you can use full power while kids are still kids to build trust and teach kids how to use the internet and then throttle back as the kids get older.

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.

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