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Adults must do more to curb the harmful impacts of social media on girls, report from First Partner finds

Social media has positive and negative impacts on girls, but teachers, parents, legislators and other adults must do more to protect youth from the downsides, according to a report released today by California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

The report, “Shared Experiences: How social media affects the well-being and empowerment of girls and young women,” details the latest research and recommendations for how young people can reap the benefits of social media but minimize the harm. The report was produced by California Partners Project, a gender equity advocacy group Siebel Newsom co-founded.

Among the recommendations:

  • Better media literacy for all young people.
  • Improved online safeguards, such as privacy controls, and industry bans on selling minors’ personal information.
  • Greater investment in STEM education and careers for girls, especially those of color.
  • More research into the impact of social media on young people.

The report also has suggestions for parents, including encouraging children to talk about their experiences on social media and how it makes them feel; limiting children’s time on social media; limiting their own time on social media; using safety settings; promoting real-life social connections; and encouraging positive uses of social media, such as artistic expression and connecting with friends and family.