Social Media Listening

listening on social media

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen Covey

 Stephen Covey, a highly respected author and motivational speaker, focused on the importance of seeking first to understand rather than to be understood. He stressed that to be successful in business, people need to  start listening to one another in order to understand and be understood. He explained that, “Because you really listen, you become influenceable. And being influenceable is the key to influencing others.” It’s the key to getting your message heard and shared, to gaining trust and doing business.”

How Young People Can Benefit From Social Media Listening

Parents, while you are teaching your kids about good decision-making online and monitoring social media habits, consider doing what businesses do and teach them some principles of social media listening. Social listening has the ability to bring people together, help with monitoring your online presence, make better choices in apps, add empathy, compassion and kindness to conversations and posts and encourage young people to be mindful of providing facts rather than fake news that might cause drama or hurt feelings.

Many teens feel social media helps them build stronger friendships and gives them a broader view of the world but they also recognize that social media sites can lead to drama and unanticipated social pressure. Listening, to one another falls by the wayside in favor of quick responses and negative comments being said that cannot be unsaid.

Social Media Is NOT Going Away

Teens see social media and technology as some of the most empowering tools they have. Social media is not going away so it’s up to adults to teach kids how to use it for good. Social media listening – listening with the intent to understand – is a step toward empowering kids with better insight and knowledge about their digital world.


Smartphones, Social Media and Teens: Benefits, Risks and Radiation?

Teens, across the nation and around the world, will be heading back to school soon. While teens were “relaxing” over the summer, researchers were doing their due diligence by continuing to explore the impact smartphones and social media have on teens.  Let’s take a look at what we know and explore some new information that might be helpful to teens, parents and educators.

What we’ve known for a while is that smartphones and social media have been linked to anxiety, depression, stress, lack of sleep, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts found in teens.  Teen anxiety and depression treatment centers have risen up in large numbers.  Longer hours on social media have been found to increase a teen’s risk of cyberbullying, lower self-esteem and may cause loss of valuable friend, family, and personal time.

While social media has benefits such as instant and often meaningful communication with family and peers, being constantly on has become a social media trap for many teens.  By increasing the time spent on measuring and managing their social media success on sites like Instagram and Snapchat, experts fear overuse may be adding risks to teen’s mental health.  Being constantly on, plugged in 24/7 – many teens never get a break.

Statistically, girls who spend several hours on their smartphones and social media each day tend to develop more social and emotional problems than boys.  Teen girls spend more time cultivating their online identity, comparing themselves to their peers and paying more attention to “likes.”  Teen boys tend to spend more time gaming and less time worrying about online identity.

Recently it was noted that 95% of teens have access to a smartphone.

We know that teens who are constantly on, keeping up with the latest apps, gaming, spending longer hours on social media, and wondering and worrying about how they measure up to their peers run the risk of higher than normal academic challenges and mental health issues.

Adult awareness to the many tactics used to get teens (and others) hooked to social media is the first step toward understanding and breaking the “constantly on” cycle.  Adults have, at their fingertips, bundles of research and studies as to the “why and how” teenagers get hooked, become addicted to social networking, and, as a consequence, have difficulty putting their smartphone and other devices aside.

The Latest…

When it comes to smartphones, social media and teens, it now appears there is more to consider.  In a recent article entitled, “Smartphones are killing teenagers’ memories, study says” by Chris Ciaccia, it was suggested and supported by the study referred to in the title, that radiation from smartphones is negatively impacting teenagers’ memories, leaving them with short-term memory loss. Perhaps now that more people are incorporating more organic living into so many aspects of their lives, they might also consider putting down their technology.