Teens Have Figured It Out, Have Parents?

June 17, 2015

Did you know that nearly one-third of teenagers said they used online data to improve their health as well as looking up health concerns for friends and family? According to a new study by researchers at Northwestern University titled, Teens, Health and Technology, teens use digital resources for health issues such as puberty, depression, sex, fitness and even hygiene questions and more.

Yes, the Internet has empowered youth and others alike. There are pros and cons to everything in life and we need to find the healthy balance, including with the Internet.

According to the study, teens (55 percent) still rely on their parents for their main source of information for health information as well as their health class in school (32 percent).

Forty-five percent of teens said the most common reason they search online health information is to take better care of themselves.

Wow! This is great to hear, not only is the next generation concerned about their welfare (physically speaking), they are using technology for the right reasons.

About 33 percent said they use will turn to search engines when they are experiencing health issues and will type in their symptoms to try to figure out what is wrong. While twenty-seventy percent will use the Internet to help friends and family determine what they are suffering with.

So don't be afraid to use your digital resources for a quick check-in on Web-MD or related sites with quality information. Of course if you are having a medical emergency, it doesn't replace 911.

In this generation of technology, we constantly hear about our children being plugged in or connected to the web -- however 42 percent of the teens researched fitness and exercise and 36 percent were interested in nutrition. Have we considered that all this connectivity is really not so bad?

Maybe it's time to make this a family affair! A recent study sponsored by Pearson revealed that families are gathering around the dinner table together more often than in previous years with nearly four in five parents surveyed (79 percent) reporting that they have dinner with their families most days of the week.

Sharing is caring, isn't it time everyone start sharing what they have learned online --- offline?

It doesn't have to be dinners, as much as it is about spending time together. From a simple walk on the beach or visiting a friend or a smoothie in a cafe. We should share our online experiences with each other.

Using a topic like digital health, fitness and wellness is a great way to start your summer.

Written by

Sue Scheff

Sue Scheff is an author and Parent Advocate. She founded Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc in 2001. Her expertise is educating parents that are struggling with their out-of-control teenager and Internet safety for both kids and adults. In her book, Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate (Sourcebooks), Sue Scheff equips readers to handle cyberbullying, trolls and other digital disasters. Find out more at on Suescheff.com.