Social Media and Adolescent Health

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In recent years, social media use has grown exponentially in the adolescent population. Research indicates social media offers both advantages and detriments to the health of an adolescent. Risks of social media use in this population include cyberbullying, educational and mental health consequences, sexting, and privacy concerns. Nonetheless, healthy social media use can provide increased opportunities for collaboration, communication, self-esteem enhancement, health promotion, and access to vital health information. This article will review both the positive and negative consequences of social media use, and discuss the role of pediatric nurses in mitigating negative effects and mobilizing use for positive effects. Nurses are in a prime position to assist adolescents and their families to comprehend the complexities of social media use and promote healthy habits.

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