Disclaimer: The goal of Conquer with Na’Kole is to provide education and support for moms (and concerned loved ones) as they conquer the giants that seek to conquer their children. I, Na’Kole Watson, am not a licensed mental health professional nor am I offering professional mental health services or advice. Therefore, I accept no liability or responsibility to anyone as a result of any reliance upon the information produced on this site or in any communication issued by Na’Kole Watson and Conquer with Na’Kole. The views expressed on this and any other affiliated website are my own, and all sources are linked. If you are in crisis, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. If this is an emergency, please dial 911 immediately.
Today’s Sunday Scoop is definitely one to pay attention to! There are some very important things happening in the social media world and I want you to be completely informed. If you have a specific question or topic that you want me to address, feel free to comment at the end of this post or email me at NaKole@NaKoleWatson.com and I’ll be sure to address it!
Feel free to share this article on your social media or with other parents who need this valuable and vital information! Now let’s get into it!
Teen girls are developing “tics”
When I started to use TikTok a little more heavily, I found myself on a side of TikTok that is full of people who have Tourettes Syndrome. It is a very interesting place. People are able to share their experiences and to really show the world how living with a neurological disorder really can be. Seeing these videos has a way of humanizing the statistics (and even the stereotypes) we read and see about people with Tourettes.
Here’s the thing, though: What doctors are noticing now is that more and more teens are showing up to doctors’ offices with what appear to be “tics”. The jury is still out on what they really are, hence the quotation marks.
The Wall Street Journal did an excellent job explaining it. Here are some highlights from the article:
“Donald Gilbert, a neurologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center who specializes in pediatric movement disorders and Tourette syndrome, has seen about 10 new teens with tics a month since March 2020. Before the pandemic, his clinic had seen at most one a month.”
“Since March 2020, Texas Children’s Hospital has reported seeing approximately 60 teens with such tics, whereas doctors there saw one or two cases a year before the pandemic. At the Johns Hopkins University Tourette’s Center, 10% to 20% of pediatric patients have described acute-onset tic-like behaviors, up from 2% to 3% a year before the pandemic, according to Joseph McGuire, an associate professor in the university’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Between March and June this year, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago said it saw 20 patients with these tics, up from 10 the full year before.”
The article also states that while some of this could very well be from TikTok, a lot of it could also just be exacerbated by the anxiety, depression and stress of the pandemic.
Some teenagers believe that their tics are a direct result of watching so many of those videos.
More from the article:
“Dr. Olvera created a TikTok account and started watching videos of teens and adults who said they had Tourette syndrome. She discovered that one top Tourette influencer was a Brit who often blurted out the word ‘beans.’
Dr. Olvera, who studied 3,000 such TikTok videos as part of her research, also found that 19 of the 28 most-followed Tourette influencers on TikTok reported developing new tics as a result of watching other creators’ videos.”
Here’s what doctors recommend:
- Take a social media break and ask your children what they have been watching on social media. Advise them to stop watching certain videos if there is a visible impact from watching them. Don’t forget that you can link your account with your child’s in order to put parental controls in place. If you need to know how to do that, here’s a link to the TikTok Safety Center’s instructions (scroll down to Family Pairing): https://www.tiktok.com/safety/en/guardians-guide/
- If your child has developed (or develops) tics or anything similar, take them to a doctor who specializes in pediatric movement disorders. The earlier, the better.
- Maintain a normal routine if your child has developed tics. Don’t stop them from doing normal things.
- Incorporate physical activity to help their mind and body work together.
- (This article is for paying Wall Street Journal subscribers) Teen Girls Are Developing Tics. Doctors Say TikTok Could Be a Factor. – The Wall Street Journal
- (Free to read) TikTok is giving teen girls Tourette-like tics: Doctors call it a ‘pandemic’ – The NY Post
Facebook plans to introduce a new feature that will encourage teens to “take a break” from Instagram.
Facebook recently announced that they are introducing a “Take a Break” feature that will prompt teens to “simply just take a break from using Instagram.
This feature is still in development, so it will be very interesting to see how it all plays out.
They are also planning to roll out a “nudging” feature that will try to steer teens away from harmful content.
According to Facebook VP for Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg’s interview with CNN:
“We’re going to introduce something which I think will make a considerable difference, which is where our systems see that the teenager is looking at the same content over and over again and it’s content which may not be conducive to their well-being, we will nudge them to look at other content.”
Here’s the article (free to read): Facebook Will Soon Advise Teenagers to “Take a Break” From Instagram – MakeUseOf.com
Snapchat is building a Family Center that will help parents protect teens
This comes after Snapchat hired a Global Head of Safety. If you missed that update, here’s an article for you (free to read): EXCLUSIVE Snap Inc hires first global head of platform safety – Reuters
Here’s what CEO Evan Spiegel had to say in an interview done with WSJ Tech Live (via TechCrunch):
“One of the goals with the product is to open up a dialogue between parents and their children about their experiences on the app,”
There is talk about parents having the ability to see who is chatting with their teens on the app. This could be a game-changer in terms of locating missing teens, cracking down on predators and so much more.
Articles (free to read):
- Snapchat wants to make itself safer for teens with more parental controls – The Verge
- Snapchat’s upcoming family centre feature will allow parents to see who is chatting with their teenage children – Business Insider
Wrapping It Up
As we start a new week, today is a great day to have a nice talk with your child(ren) about the topics covered in today’s Sunday Scoop! Let’s open the dialogue and get them prepared.
I’m going to put forth the effort to keep you informed, and I hope you’ll put forth the effort to stay connected!
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Let’s Conquer Together!