Teenagers are now facing a self-imposed challenge to keep their media habits up to date and self-regulate online, a new report from MTV News has found.
It’s a challenge that’s gaining momentum as more teens are using social media to share and control content.
The report was released on Monday (local time) and it includes findings from a survey of more than 2,500 teens.
It found teens in America have started using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to manage their media consumption and self regulation.
The survey also found that teens who use these platforms to self-monitor their online habits and social media use are more likely to be sexually active than teens who do not use these tools.
The majority of teens who self-reported using social networks in the survey said they used the platforms to check on their appearance and mood.
“Most teens are not using social tools to self regulate,” said Dr. Sarah McBride, associate professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and one of the study’s co-authors.
“But if they do, they’re not using them for self-care.”
The teen survey also showed that the majority of teenage girls said they’re trying to self medicate or control their drinking and drug use.
In contrast, just 6 percent of teenage boys said they were trying to control their drug use and alcohol use.
“In general, the more teens have these tools to manage and control their social media habits, the greater the likelihood that they’ll be able to control these behaviors,” McBride said.
She also said the research suggests teens who are more involved in self-tracking their online media habits are more successful at controlling their behavior online.
“If teens are managing their digital behavior in a way that doesn’t involve the Internet, it’s not as effective,” she said.
Teenagers who use social media, such as Facebook and Google+, to self monitor their behavior are more often sexually active, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Teenagers using social-media sites to self manage Teenagers also reported using self-censoring apps and social-networking sites in a recent survey.
“When it comes to social media or self-surveillance, it seems that the most effective way to manage these behaviors is to get involved with a team of professionals to help you do that,” said McBride.
She said teens are also using the platforms in ways that are inappropriate and harmful.
“The problem is, they don’t have to be inappropriate or harmful,” McBree said.
McBride noted teens who misuse these apps and websites often do so for reasons unrelated to the content they’re sharing.
For instance, some teens are sharing photos and videos of themselves that don’t show their physical appearance, and others use social networks to self control or hide their faces from friends.
“These are all things that teens should not be doing,” she added.
Some teens may also use these apps to avoid the negative social consequences that come from sharing harmful content online.
Teenage girls are also more likely than their peers to use social-monitoring apps to self check their appearance, said McBrea.
Some of the apps and sites that were most prevalent among teens in the CDC’s survey include social-networking site Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumblr.
In one of two surveys conducted for the report, teens who used social-site tools to check their social-reputation scores reported having an average of 12 social-esteem tests.
McBridens research also found teen girls are using more than two-thirds of these tools, or 1,200, in a survey she conducted with the Centers For Disease Control.
“We found that girls are actually using more tools than boys in terms of social-management tools and self monitoring,” McBrea said.
“They are more than twice as likely to use them to self censor themselves.”
McBride added that social-interaction apps, which are similar to social- media sites, also are increasing in popularity among teens.
“There’s a real opportunity here for these apps,” she explained.
“It’s about connecting with a wider audience of teens and teens are increasingly using these tools.”
McBreas findings are consistent with other research that suggests teens are more interested in sharing and controlling their own social media behaviors and online behavior than their parents or peers.
McBreais research also suggests teens use the apps to keep track of how their friends are using the services, such the number of times they have seen a friend use a service, the number and location of times a friend has shared a photo on social media and how frequently they have viewed videos of their friends.
It also suggests teenagers are more comfortable using these apps when their friends share photos, videos and messages of them, according.
In the CDC study, teens were more likely when using a social-enterprise app to share