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Parents Talk: Does Social Media Increase Your Teens' Awareness?

A new study shows 55 percent of teens feel they are more aware of other people's needs as a result of social media sites.

I was one of the first of my friends and family members to jump on the Facebook bandwagon when it was launched for college students in February 2004.

It was the talk of the campus. My roommate and I would peruse our pages for hours: chatting, poking, adding friends and checking out the latest gossip. Sadly, I remember the first time you were able to add multiple photos. It was thrilling.

These days my use of social media has expanded to include Twitter, however my engagement in the sphere has definitely declined. But, I'm no longer a teenager, and I'm of the generation that remembers the Internet becoming the "new thing."

While I may not be as engaged as I once was, this is apparently not the case for most teens. A new study from World Vision 30 Hour Famine, shows that more than half of teens (55 percent) said social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have helped them become more socially aware.

With companies and organizations finding it beneficial to connect with their audiences via social media sites—which are arguably at the center of many teenagers' lives these days—it's no wonder teens are learning more about the causes out there. All the info is so accessible and organizations are reaching out to them on their home turf.

Does this study have any effect on how you view teen social media use? Does this change your feelings on letting your own teens use social media more freely? Does this study even hold any water? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Caitlin Burgess March 08, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Another question: while teens may be more aware of things happening in the world through social media, does it make them want to make a difference? The survey also showed that 9 out of 10 teen surveyed believed it was important to volunteer. I think it would be interesting to know how many teens actually get out and do so. Anyone have any statistics or other insights?

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