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UW-Madison Researcher Says More Needs to be Done to Help Kids Deal With Effects of Social Media

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021 -- 11:01 AM

(Raymond Neupert, WRN) A researcher from UW-Madison says that more needs to be done to help kids deal with the effects of social media.

Dr. Heather Kirkorian says that while social media itself can be safe for kids, it can amplify and worsen existing bullying among kids and teens. She says schools need to be ready to deal with cyberbullying.

"Having clear policies and guidance and support for students who are struggling whether that means experiencing cyberbullying or bullying others or some other problems it's really important to have open conversations and provide support for students."

Dr. Kirkorian says some very dangerous content is being served to kids via social media, and so far companies seem reluctant to explain why or how that's happening.

"It's very important that the media industry starts cooperating; being transparent and cooperating and providing data for researchers who are trying to figure out how to protect kids and how to support kids who need help."

Dr. Kirkorian says that parents can help step in if there's incidents of cyber bullying or other problems with social groups. "It's really important that parents talk to their kids regularly about social media and all of their online activities and in-person activities too. So the more parents and kids talk to each other about what's going on the better parents are to know when there might be a concern."

Dr. Kirkorian also says that more needs to be done by Facebook and other social media platforms to prevent harmful content from reaching children.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.