Social Networking for Teens

For many legitimate reasons, social media is often number one on a parent's list of digital worries. From predators to privacy, there's truly a lot of iffy stuff for teens to navigate. While all of that is true, using social media wisely can also give teens a sense of connection, fun, and creativity. If a caregiver is involved in a teen's digital life, preps them for how to handle negative online situations, talks about protecting privacy and being kind, it can go a long way toward a more positive social media experience. And if kids can avoid endless scrolling and comparing themselves to others, and instead focus on friendship and creativity, it may actually give them a boost instead of bringing them down.

Pinterest Poster Image
WEBSITE

Pinterest

age 13+

Semi-social site helps users collect images for inspiration.

URL: https://www.pinterest.com (2012)
Signal - Private Messenger Poster Image
APP

Signal - Private Messenger

age 13+

Simple, secure messenger with free phone calls, group chats.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2017)
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Sit With Us Poster Image
APP

Sit With Us

age 13+

Teen-created app promotes empathy, community.

Devices: Android (2016)
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MrOwl: Inspire & Collaborate Poster Image
APP

MrOwl: Inspire & Collaborate

age 14+

Find and share info on this interest-based social network.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2017)
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Facebook Poster Image
WEBSITE

Facebook

age 15+

Huge social site connects, serves ads; check settings.

URL: http://www.facebook.com (2011)
WordPress.com Poster Image
WEBSITE

WordPress.com

age 15+

Slick source for blogging; watch out for adult content.

URL: https://wordpress.com/ (2013)
GroupMe Poster Image
APP

GroupMe

age 15+

Share unlimited content, but watch for unfiltered Internet.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2016)
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Instagram Poster Image
APP

Instagram

age 15+

All-in-one social app for sharing, shopping, and scrolling.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2012)
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The Jump App Poster Image
APP

The Jump App

age 15+

Customizable social media offers control over friends, feed.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2020)
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TikTok Poster Image
APP

TikTok

age 15+

Sing, lip-synch, and share videos; watch for iffy content.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2016)
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Tumblr Poster Image
WEBSITE

Tumblr

age 15+

Rich microblogging site includes abundant iffy content.

URL: http://www.tumblr.com/ (2009)
Twitter Poster Image
WEBSITE

Twitter

age 15+

Limited characters, lots of info, lasting online legacy.

URL: http://www.twitter.com (2019)
Vine Camera Poster Image
APP

Vine Camera

age 15+

Clever video app now connected to Twitter.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (2015)
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Zello Walkie Talkie Poster Image
APP

Zello Walkie Talkie

age 15+

Real-time voice messenger app requires internet connection.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2013)
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Messenger Poster Image
APP

Messenger

age 16+

Teens connect instantly to contacts; best with guidance.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2020)
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MeWe Network Poster Image
APP

MeWe Network

age 16+

Ad-free, interest-based groups offer control, mature stuff.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2021)
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ooVoo Video Call, Text and Voice Poster Image
APP

ooVoo Video Call, Text and Voice

age 16+

Powerhouse app with group video, text, calls; watch privacy.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows app (2014)
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Snapchat Poster Image
APP

Snapchat

age 16+

Send moments in photos, watch curated content; use wisely.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2011)
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Tango Text, Voice & Video Poster Image
APP

Tango Text, Voice & Video

age 16+

Social networking and lots more; privacy settings important.

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Threema Poster Image
APP

Threema

age 16+

Ultra-secure voice/chat app could keep parents in the dark.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2012)
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