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Economic, Social, and Political Optimism at Record Lows for Young People

Just 26% of millennials and Generation Z across the world believe the economic prospects in their home countries will improve in the next year, a figure that has never before dropped below 40%, Deloitte reports in MediaPost Communications. The study, diving into behaviors, perceptions, and beliefs of the young generations, also reports that these groups are “disillusioned, expressing dissatisfaction with their money situation, jobs, government, the way their data is used — and their lives in general”. Interestingly, about 60% say they’d be happier if they spent less time on social media.

Usage of Certain Social Media Platforms Down

Facebook and Snapchat users ages 18 and over in the US are spending around 38 and 26 minutes daily, respectively, on the platforms, while Instagram usage is on the upswing, according to eMarketer. The research firm attributes the changes to Facebook's drop in younger users and a move toward discouraging passive content consumption, Snapchat's app redesign and Instagram's increasing engagement through Stories and influencer content. What social media platform do you use the most now?

Parents Say Bullying is Widespread

According to a recent article in Education Week , 47.7% of 6- to 10-year-old children and more than 50% of children older than 11 have reported experiences of being bullied. The survey of parents by Comparitech also found that over 82.8% of bullying takes place at school, and online it's most common for children to be bullied on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. What is your experience? Is there more or less bullying going on despite the abundance of programs aimed at combating it?

Is Social Media Tied to the Happiness of Teens?

In the United Kingdom, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that time spent on social media has only a minor impact on life satisfaction (happiness) among adolescents. The authors of the study caution that although the data shows that time spent on social media may not be harming the emotional well-being of teens in the ways that experts often predict, the study only looked at the amount of time the children had spent online – not what they were doing during that time.  That is an interesting take away for parents (and experts)who seem to focus so much of their concern limiting screen time, rather than considering where their kids are spending that time.

Avoiding Issues on LinkedIn

Writing in Forbes, Adrian Dayton discusses the seven “dumbest” things people do on social media/business recruiting site LinkedIn. The unprofessionalism Dayton outlines includes filling a bio with overblown adjectives, adding nonsensical hashtags to posts, and making romantic overtures, which is reportedly an increasing problem. Creating more than one profile confuses potential connections, and abandoning a profile signals a lack of seriousness. These are all good tips on what to avoid for both adults and high school students, as many are beginning to use the platform as part of the college application process.

Teen Slang Dictionary Online

Ever feel like your Gen Z child or student is speaking another language when you try to talk to them? A high school sociology teacher from Massachusetts created a dictionary of teen slang that will help you to decipher what the kids these days are actually talking about.

Viral Fight Videos Worry Bullying Foes

Viral videos of school fights that show up on social media can incite widespread violence and abuse, with harm coming to perpetrators as well as victims, experts say. Citing a middle school incident that proliferated over social media, licensed clinical social worker Erin Rapp reminds students, "You have to protect each other and look out for each other."

Giving Facts A Chance

Alan Miller of the nonprofit News Literacy Project writes in The Washington Post that determining what information to trust is really important when getting your news from the web. He cites the example of the current measles outbreak, which officials have said was caused largely in part by anti-vaccination messages on social media. Miller writes that his organization teaches students to apply critical thinking to information they encounter online and to consider it carefully before sharing it. Learning how to know what to believe in the digital age is empowering and should be a regular topic of conversation with your children as you help them navigate the world as digital citizens.

Post First, Think Second

Keri Stephens, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, says that today’s students post first, think second. This is in contrast to older generations that are more careful about what they post. Stephens says this creates a disconnect between the generations: younger people often pop off in texts or other social media whatever they are thinking at the moment, but older generations tend to take what they read to heart since they put more thought into what they post. This can sometimes lead to issues in communication when young people are just letting off steam and older generations take it as a threat.

How to Create a Video that Goes Viral

Ever wondered about the secrets of creating a viral video? Viral videos have a foundation in quality content, Laura McLeod writes on the Business 2 Community site. To increase a video's chances of going viral, target a specific audience, use an emotional hook, offer value to the viewer, stand out from the crowd and have a solid marketing plan, she writes.

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