As the mother of teenage boys, social media and the internet are something I worry about quite often.  I never imagined having to be on guard as much as I do in today's society.

It is quite alarming the mental affects that social media has on our teens.  A study done by the UCLA brain mapping center showed that a specific region of a teens brain became activated by likes and responses on social media causing them to want to increase their usage.

Studies have also been done to show the influence that peers have in the use of social media.  Meaning, if a teen saw that their friends were liking a particular post or photo no matter what it was they would do the same because of the popularity.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Chantay Taylor, Guidance Counselor, for Burns Middle School on this subject.  Here is what Chantay had to say;

Social Media and Social Networking are all around us!  According to Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, 92% of teens are online daily.  

This shows to be true at BMS.  In my experience as a guidance counselor, I have encounters with students  that deal with social media issues daily.  Cyber Bullying and student conflict mostly start over social media.  

There are a over a reported 1.2 million apps used by teens.  The hardest part about social media and teens  is that they are not monitored by their guardians.  Even trustworthy students are lured into inappropriate topics via social media. 

Even sites such as Pinerest now have pornography circulating.  Parents can and should find apps like netnanny and big brother to monitor their students phone usage. 

Their are many resources to help a parent monitor a child's activity on their phone.  My job as a counselor is just to try and provide as much information to our parents as well as teach our students how to properly use social media.  a

Most students are not emotionally or mentally mature enough to handle some of the topics that come up on social media.

Here are just a handful of the apps parents need to be aware of that their child may be using;

I have had to deal with my own set of problems with my own boys.  They have both experienced unfortunate situations on social sites because of poor choices.  Thankfully their school counselors were on top of it and communicated these issues with me.

We now check their devices on a regular basis and make sure they know that they can be taken at any given time and checked.

Parents have an opportunity to attend a session this evening hosted by KSP Trooper Corey King on Social Networking.