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The best way to monitor and limit your kid's social media use

Social media is negatively affecting the mental health of our youths


The news isn't exactly new, but now it's official. Yesterday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a warning about the effects of social media on mental health. The 25-page advisory focuses on kids ages 8 to 17, and it details the effect "constantly" being on social media can have on their mental well-being. While adults must also be aware of the example they set, there are ways to monitor and limit their kid's social media use.

Adolescents are in a critical stage of brain development

According to the Surgeon General, there is not enough evidence to declare social media as being safe. On the contrary, there is mounting evidence that it is harmful. According to Dr. Murthy, social media exposes kids to violence, sexual content, bullying and harassment while depriving them of sleep and social interaction with family and friends. Furthermore, the advisory states that social media can normalize activities such as self-harm (including suicide pacts), perpetuate body dissatisfaction and trigger unhealthy behavioral patterns. 

Don't neglect the power of built-in parental control features

While devices are the gateway to social media, they also have built-in safety features. Parents who take the time to understand and learn how their child's gadget works can set content and privacy restrictions, prevent purchases, disable explicit content, prevent web access, restrict searches, limit screen time and more. Being involved, knowing what your child is doing online and taking advantage of a device's built-in parental control features are key to solving this problem.

Consider parental control apps

On-board features are not the only way to tackle this problem. You can take a step back and limit the availability of your home Wi-Fi network and restrict access to certain content on a much broader scale. Additionally, third-party apps such as Kaspersky Safe Kids, Google Family Link and others offer an intuitive, parent-friendly way to monitor and protect your child when they are online.

Best products to monitor and limit your kid's social media use

Apple iPhone SE
The iPhone is packed with features through Apple Support that can help you monitor and limit your teen's social media time. This model also has the A15 Bionic chip for lightning-fast performance and delivers an impressive battery life.
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Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)
Besides being a great tool for listening to music, researching and more, Echo devices have built-in parental controls so you can keep your tweens and teens safe when they connect to the internet. There's also no screen so that helps protect your child as well. This model even has a mic-off button for added privacy. 
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Amazon Echo Dot Kids
If your kid is under the age of 12, a designated kid-friendly device might be the best option. The Echo Dot Kids is specifically designed to give parents full control and keep their children safe online with a variety of parent-approved features.
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Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids
For kids who are 6 to 12 and like to use a device with a screen, this Amazon Fire tablet is ideal. It comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ and a two-year worry-free guarantee.
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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
An e-reader is a device that can help you sidestep the social media problem. It gives your child a way to engage without social media. This paperwhite model has a 6.8-inch display, adjustable warm light and up to 10 weeks of battery life.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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