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Sneaky Ways TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts are Pulling Kids in and Making Them Numb

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May 14, 2024

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Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Full Replay: Sneaky Ways TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts are Pulling Kids In and Making Them Numb

May 13, 2024

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Video apps are hugely popular and feature short, catchy videos that draw students in quickly. We recognize that there is a lot of amazing content out there that students can use for their benefit. However, too much time spent on these video apps can leave teens feeling overwhelmed and contribute to screen time addiction.

Educators and parents: Guide your students' reflection and discussion with this student worksheet. (Log in to your Google account and select File-->Make a Copy)

What video apps are popular with teens?

  • Vine became the original short-form video app when it launched its six-second video format in 2013; however, the app has since shut down (Source: NY Times)
  • TikTok is currently one of the most popular short-form video apps on the market and its popularity encouraged other social media apps like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to add short videos to their platforms
  • Other social media apps followed with short-form video offerings, such as with Instagram Reels and TikTok Shorts

What are the consequences of spending too much time on video apps?

  • Excessive screen time can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep
  • Video apps can distract you and impact your focus, causing your performance at school to suffer
  • Filling too much of your day with screens can take away from time with friends and family members
  • Replacing physical activity with screen time can decrease overall health and contribute to weight problems
  • Studies have shown that excessive screen time can impact your mood and may lead to anxiety/depression
  • Excessive time on video apps can lead to body image issues due to comparing yourself with others
  • Students tell us that their attention span has been impacted by video apps that show short catchy content because they expect things to grab their attention right away

Strategies to Reduce Time on Video Apps

  • Turn off the autoplay feature whenever possible
  • Take advantage of in-app screen time settings to get reminders to put your phone down after a set period of time
  • Use a physical timer to remind you to get off the video app
  • Schedule blocks of time for passive screen time and avoid passive screen time outside of those hours 
  • Use screen time apps to help you stay focused and on track

Best Tools to Help Reduce Time on Video Apps

  • Opal - Block distracting websites
  • ClearSpace - Free to use for one app (paid for additional apps)
  • Freedom - Create limits for your current screen time session
  • Off the Grid - Lock your phone down when you need to take a break
  • SelfControl - Block distracting websites until a timer expires
  • Forest - Watch an image of a tree “grow” the longer you avoid distracting apps
  • Learn more about apps to help reduce screen time here

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

Video apps can be a lot of fun, especially for students who are looking for some quick entertainment. These short videos are ingrained in pop culture and can also play a role in a student’s social life. Finding ways to use video apps in a balanced way can help students reduce excessive screen time and some of the negative impacts it can have on their lives.

Full Replay: Sneaky Ways TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts are Pulling Kids In and Making Them Numb

Negative Effects of Video Apps and Screen Time (For Students & Parents)

May 31, 2024

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Elementary School Students (Dialogue Starters):

Social Comparison

  • If you have a friend who’s feeling insecure, how could scrolling through other people’s social media posts make them feel worse rather than better? 

Not the Effect You Expect

  • Social media can seem like an escape from whatever is bothering us, so why does it often fail to lift our moods (or solve whatever’s bringing us down)? 

Changing How You Use Social Media

  • If you’re on social media, what are some ways you can make it a more positive experience?

Middle School Students (Dialogue Starters):

FOMO and Social Media

  • What is FOMO, and how does social media contribute to it? 

What’s the Harm?

  • Can you name some of the emotional, physical and other consequences of excessive time spent on social media?

Keeping Screen Time in Check

  • What are some ways you can monitor and limit your own screen time so it doesn’t take away from other priorities in your life? 

High School Students (Dialogue Starters):

Social Media and Self Image

  • If you had a friend who feels less attractive, less popular, or has other self-image problems after comparing themselves to other people’s posts, how could you help them get past that?

Destructive Habits

  • What social media habits can be harmful in the way it affects your mood and how you spend your time? 

Better Ways to Use Social Media

  • What are some more positive ways you can curate your social media feeds to make time spent on these apps more productive and engaging? 

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

Video apps can be a lot of fun, especially for students who are looking for some quick entertainment. These short videos are ingrained in pop culture and can also play a role in a student’s social life. Finding ways to use video apps in a balanced way can help students reduce excessive screen time and some of the negative impacts it can have on their lives.

Negative Effects of Video Apps and Screen Time (For Students & Parents)

How Video Apps Pull You In (For Students & Parents)

May 31, 2024

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Elementary School Students (Dialogue Starters):

Too Much of a Good Thing

  • What are some problems with spending too much time online? 

Reducing Screen Time

  • What tips in the video do you think would help you reduce your screen time? 

The Pros of Social Media

  • What are some fun or useful things you might like to learn on YouTube or other social media apps that go beyond just entertainment? 

Middle School Students (Dialogue Starters):

Social Media and Time Management

  • How long do you think you can reasonably spend online without it interfering with other priorities?

Stuck on Social Media

  •  What are some ways that social media apps keep users online watching short videos and other content longer than intended? 

Controlling Your Feed

  • What would it look like for you to be more conscientious about the types of online videos you’re watching?  

High School Students (Dialogue Starters):

When You Can’t Put it Down

  • What are some of the problems with spending too much time on TikTok and other apps with short, rapidly changing videos?

Exploring New Avenues

  • What subjects are you interested in that you might add to your social media feed to make it more productive? 

Balancing Screen & Life Time

  • Knowing your own habits, what tips do you think would help you set limits on how much you use screens so it doesn’t encroach on time you need for school or other things that are important to you? 

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

Video apps can be a lot of fun, especially for students who are looking for some quick entertainment. These short videos are ingrained in pop culture and can also play a role in a student’s social life. Finding ways to use video apps in a balanced way can help students reduce excessive screen time and some of the negative impacts it can have on their lives.

How Video Apps Pull You In (For Students & Parents)

Tricks Video Apps Use to Keep You Watching (For Parents)

April 16, 2024

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Key Takeaways: 

  • TikTok and other video-based apps feature algorithms designed to keep kids on the app for as long as possible, which is key to their profitability
  • Short videos can give users a dopamine spike that can make short-video features on social media addictive while shortening students’ attention span
  • Turning off autoplay features can help users avoid mindless viewing
  • When students make conscious choices of what to watch on social media, they’re more likely to engage their minds and choose content they care about

Dialogue Starters:

Parents of Elementary School Students (to ask students)

Tell Me About TikTok

  • Have you watched TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, and if so, what makes them fun for you?

Parents of Middle School Students (to ask students)

Mindful Social-Media Consumption

  • If you’re on TikTok, what kinds of videos do you look for—or do you watch whatever pops up?

Parents of High School Students (to ask students)

Talking About Time Management

  • How do you balance the amount of time you spend on TikTok and other social media with your other priorities? 

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

Video apps can be a lot of fun, especially for students who are looking for some quick entertainment. These short videos are ingrained in pop culture and can also play a role in a student’s social life. Finding ways to use video apps in a balanced way can help students reduce excessive screen time and some of the negative impacts it can have on their lives.

Tricks Video Apps Use to Keep You Watching (For Parents)

Spanish Language Version: Sneaky Ways Video Apps are Pulling Our Kids In and Making Them Numb

April 16, 2024

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

Las aplicaciones de video pueden ser muy divertidas, especialmente para los estudiantes que buscan un poco de entretenimiento rápido. Estos videos cortos están arraigados en la cultura popular y también pueden jugar un papel en la vida social de un estudiante. Encontrar maneras de usar las aplicaciones de video de manera equilibrada puede ayudar a los estudiantes a reducir el tiempo excesivo frente a la pantalla y algunos de los impactos negativos que esto puede tener en sus vidas.

Spanish Language Version: Sneaky Ways Video Apps are Pulling Our Kids In and Making Them Numb

Mandarin Chinese Language Version: Sneaky Ways Video Apps Are Pulling Our Kids In and Making Them Numb

April 16, 2024

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

负面影响10个屏幕时间管理技巧以防止成瘾平衡青少年视频游戏屏幕时间结论视频应用程序可以非常有趣,特别是对于那些寻找快速娱乐的学生而言。这些短视频已经深深植根于流行文化中,也可以在学生的社交生活中发挥作用。找到平衡使用视频应用的方法可以帮助学生减少过度的屏幕时间和它可能对他们的生活产生的一些负面影响。

Mandarin Chinese Language Version: Sneaky Ways Video Apps Are Pulling Our Kids In and Making Them Numb

Sneaky Ways TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts are Pulling Kids in and Making Them Numb

Share on Google Classroom!
., you're logged in!
Enjoy this resource and share our programs with your school district to send these resources to your whole community
Tell Your School District About Our Program
., you're logged in!
Share this resource with a parent at .  (or visit our new sharing center)
., you're logged in!
Enjoy this demo pass. Click the button to share access with leaders in your school district (or visit our new sharing center)
Share Your Demo Pass With School District Leaders
Share on Google Classroom!

Video apps feature short, catchy videos that draw students in quickly and they are hugely popular. We recognize that there is a lot of amazing content out there that students can use for their benefit, however, too much time spent on these video apps can leave teens feeling overwhelmed and contribute to screen time addiction.

What video apps are popular with teens?

  • Vine became the original short-form video app when they launched their six-second video format in 2013, however the app has since shut down (Source: NY Times)
  • TikTok is currently one of the most popular short-form video apps out there and its popularity encouraged other social media apps like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to add short videos to their platforms

What are the consequences of spending too much time on video apps?

  • Excessive screen time can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep
  • Video apps can distract you and impact your focus, causing your performance at school to suffer
  • Filling too much of your day with screens can take away from time with friends and family members
  • Replacing physical activity with screen time can decrease your overall health and contribute to weight problems
  • Studies have shown that excessive screen time can impact your mood and may lead to anxiety/depression
  • Excessive time on video apps can lead to body image issues due to comparing yourself with others
  • Students tell us that their attention span has been impacted by video apps that show short catchy content because they expect things to grab their attention right away

Strategies to Reduce Time on Video Apps

  • Turn off the autoplay feature whenever possible
  • Take advantage of in-app screen time settings to get reminders to put your phone down after a set period of time
  • Use a physical timer to remind you to get off the video app
  • Schedule blocks of time for passive screen time and avoid passive screen time outside of those hours 
  • Use screen time apps to help you stay focused and on track

Best Tools to Help Reduce Time on Video Apps

  • Opal - Block distracting websites
  • ClearSpace - Free to use for one app (paid for additional apps)
  • Freedom - Create limits for your current screen time session
  • Off the Grid - Lock your phone down when you need to take a break
  • SelfControl - Block distracting websites until a timer expires
  • Forest - Watch an image of a tree “grow” the longer you avoid distracting apps
  • Learn more about apps to help reduce screen time here

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Conclusion

Video apps can be a lot of fun, especially for students who are looking for some quick entertainment. These short videos are ingrained in pop culture and can also play a role in a student’s social life. Finding ways to use video apps in a balanced way can help students reduce excessive screen time and some of the negative impacts it can have on their lives.

Logged in and still not seeing content? This course may not be part of
your membership plan. Click here to join.

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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