The American Psychological Association (APA) has issued recommendations to prepare teenagers for social media engagement. These recommendations encompass training in social media literacy and psychological development before adolescents enter these digital spaces. Ongoing guidance is also advised to minimize potential harm. The APA suggests tailoring social media use according to a child’s developmental stage and proposing adult supervision for younger children. Furthermore, the guidelines advocate for restrictions on harmful content related to self-harm, eating disorders, discrimination, hate speech, cyberbullying, and excessive focus on beauty. Regulating the timing of social media use is encouraged to prevent interference with sleep and physical activity.

The APA acknowledges the need for individualized approaches to social media use, taking into account each child’s unique strengths, weaknesses, and context. They also emphasize the importance of tailoring rules based on maturity levels and home environments. Recognizing the gaps in research on marginalized and differently-abled youth, the APA calls for further investigation in these areas. The organization commits to monitoring research on existing and emerging social media platforms. Dr. Damour underscores the significance of collaborative efforts between adults and teenagers to promote safer social media practices. She stresses the importance of educating teenagers about the manipulative nature of these platforms and encourages adults to stay informed about content and norms.