FIVE THINGS ABOUT TEENS & PHONES
1 TEENS ASKED ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA
The reason for a recent Health Canada study was to figure out how best to deliver healthrelated messages to teens. Corporate Research Associates Inc. held focus groups with kids between 13 and 17 in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Sudbury, Quebec City and St. John’s, then delivered a report in March.
2 INSTAGRAM, SNAPCHAT ARE TOPS
What they learned isn’t exactly surprising. Youth “rely on social media as a communication tool to connect with others,” and “as a source of entertainment to fill time,” the report said. Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube are the preferred channels.
3 USED TO HELP WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY
Sometimes they rely on their phones to avoid talking face to face. “At family events when you really don’t want to talk to someone, it’s easiest just to take out your phone and avoid the awkward conversation,” one teen said.
4 NOT THE PLACE FOR HEALTH QUESTIONS
Teenagers aren’t about to ask health questions to their peers on social media, the study concludes. “I’d look dumb if I posted a serious question on social media. Why would I do that?” one participant said. They are much more likely to just Google it.
5 SHOWS AN OPPORTUNITY
“Findings show there is clearly an opportunity for government to align health-related information for youth on key social media platforms,” the report says. An online portal designed specifically for their age group could be helpful, the “Discover” feed on Snapchat could work and Facebook would be effective because parents would see it.