Addressing the Risks of Adolescent Social Media Use

Help students strategically navigate the digital world with Wayfinder resources and strategies


A Growing Concern About the Impact of Social Media on Youth Development

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released a 19-page report explicitly calling out the harmful outcomes of prolonged exposure to social media. With concerns now confirmed, many are wondering how we can best support students to avoid the negative impacts of social media use while still acknowledging its potential benefits.

95% of youth ages 13–17 report using at least one social media platform for an average of 3.5 hours a day


The Unsuspecting Danger of Social Media

A growing body of research links the use of social media to detrimental changes to cognitive development and mental health, especially during highly sensitive ages of 10-19.

Equipping Students to Navigate the Digital Landscape
Instead of focusing on external limits and punitive policies forced upon students, we should work with them to foster the skills needed to use technology thoughtfully rather than allowing technology to use them. The end goal: empowered digital citizens who are equipped with the knowledge and tools to navigate their digital lives with #DigitalDiscernment.
With the skill of digital discernment, students will be able to:

Find balance and discern how to use digital devices as tools

Make informed decisions on how to spend  time online

Leverage strategies to change unhelpful digital habits

Build genuine and healthy connections with others online

Navigate the digital world responsibly

Explore digital life together alongside trusted adults

Curbing the Risks of Social Media-Photo

Free Resources for Curbing the Risk of Social Media 

We've pulled together high-impact resources from our new social media content into a free downloadable packet to help educators and leaders take action now. The packet includes:

  • Engaging, relevant lessons that provide a meaningful entry point into helping students make better choices online.

  • Quick activities that can spark meaningful conversations and shifts in students' digital usage.

  • Accompanying slide decks and workbook pages that make it easy to integrate into what you're already doing.

  • Content for elementary, middle, and high School students.

Download now to help your students avoid the negative fallout of social media use and take control of their digital lives!

Download Social Media Resource Pack


About Wayfinder

Wayfinder provides educators with the tools to reinvigorate connection within the classroom. Designed at the Stanford, our program leverages the power of purpose, belonging, and SEL to help students and staff reconnect with themselves, their peers, and the broader community. We offer a range of tools that fits the needs of your school or district:

  • Core Curriculum:  Research-backed lessons for K-12

  • Activity Library:  1000+ relevant and engaging activities

  • NEW! Collections: curated to address timely needs such as bullying, cyber safety, and financial literacy

  • Assessment Suite:  track growth on skill development and wellness

  • Adult SEL:  nurture the needs of your staff