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Social media impacts on young people

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EASTERN CAROLINA, NC (WITN) Most people today have some sort of social media account and they can certainly be helpful keeping us connected, but psychiatrists also say the amount of time on social media and technology can affect how young people develop and can take a toll on them mentally.

Leah Tuckmire, 7-years-old, says, “Um, I have Facebook messenger for kids. That’s like talking to friends and people that I know and my parents know.”

Tuckmire, who’s in the second grade, isn’t alone.

Dr. Pheston Shelton is a child psychiatrist and says, “About 50% of third and fifth graders have phones. It’s very common.”

So parents like Leah’s mom Kylene, who’s Executive Director for Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County, works to make sure her daughter, and other kids have limits.

Kylene says, “They are digital natives. They’ve grown up in a world where they’ve never not known technology so they need to be comfortable with it.”

But the issue extends beyond comfort says Dr. Shelton. “One of our concerns is over use of phones and the addictive nature of phones, it creates this always on type of culture.”

Lauren Boucher is a digital and learning coach at ECU. She says, “I know as adults, when our phone dings that we got a text message or someone messaged us on Facebook or we’ve been tagged, our brains literally release dopamine. So when our kids are constantly connected on social media, they won’t sleep because they are waiting for the next ding. It’s almost like a drug addiction.”

According to a national survey by the American Psychological Association, there has been a rise in mental health issues over the last decade and it says digital media may be a reason why.

Dr. Shelton says, “Excessive or frequent social media use or phone use has been associated with decrease in happiness, increased reports of hopelessness in adolescents and young adults particularly undergraduate populations. There’s also been increased anxiety and decreased sleep in youth and young adults who report frequent media use. It definitely can affect their self confidence. Kids can’t get away from bullying, whether it’s social bullying or cyber bullying, they can’t leave it behind at school and come home, it continues to follow them.”

But time away from phones, TV’s and computers may help. A study in the Journal of Computers in Human Behavior says 6th graders who went five days without exposure to technology were a lot better at reading human emotions than kids who did not.

Dr: Shelton says it all starts at home. “Kids look to parents on how to behave so parents can set time and use limits around the house.”

And for parents like Kylene, it’s all about balance as kids grow up in a world of technology. She says, “Both of my kids have no more than six friends on their account, so I am pretty limited on who they are friends with.”

Professionals said putting all phones and devices in one area of the home is a good way to set those limits.

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Meta Adds Instagram Audience Targeting for Facebook and IG Ads

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Instagram Outlines Update Visual Elements to Better Connect with its Purpose

This could be a very handy option for social media managers – Meta is currently rolling out the capacity to run ads on Facebook and Instagram that target your Instagram followers.

As you can see in this image, shared by media buyer Corey Henke, now, you can target your ads to people who follow your IG account within your campaign setup, giving you a whole new audience to consider in your promotional process.

Which might not sound like much – and it probably also sounds like something that’s been available for some time. Right?

But it isn’t.

As noted by Meta ads expert Jon Loomer, up till now, you’ve been able to create a custom audience of your Facebook followers, but not your Instagram audience. That’s made it virtually impossible to focus on your IG followers specifically – which is generally, for most brands, much different to their Facebook following.

So, you can now use this as an ad targeting option, to reach people who’ve shown interest in your products on IG with your offers and promotions, while you can also use it as your source for a Lookalike Audience.

There’s a range of options here, and it’ll definitely come in handy for many marketers.

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