Supporting Parents Online With Our Screen Smart Program

With a seemingly endless range of apps, websites and devices, parenting in today’s digital world can feel overwhelming. Kids today are using devices from early ages, and on average, most teens use about 40 different apps every week. This week, we’re kicking off a series of workshops called Screen Smart to empower parents to confidently manage their teens’ usage of smartphones and devices – including on Meta’s platforms.

The series will start this week in Denver, followed by Charleston, Houston, Boston and Los Angeles. At each event we’ll provide 1:1 hands-on educational workshops for parents and help them understand the best ways to use our supervision features. Attendees will also hear from academics and clinicians on ways to support their teens’ experiences online and learn more from Meta about solutions that would help empower parents. We’re calling the series Screen Smart because we want every parent to have the knowledge they need to manage their family’s online experiences, with the boundaries and protections that work best for them.  

At Meta, we’ve developed more than 50 tools, resources and features to help teens create, explore and connect on our apps in safe, age-appropriate ways. This includes built-in protections for teens, like private accounts and messaging restrictions, as well supervision features so parents can set the right boundaries for their teens.

However, we know that parenting online is more than just providing the right tools and protections. It’s also about building trust with your family when it comes to how they’re using smartphones and other devices, helping them navigate unwanted contact online, and approaching conversations about digital safety without being met with eye rolls. 

“Instagram and other social media platforms can be great ways to find community, connect with friends, learn new skills and express yourself. Many teens share with me that they ‘find their people’ online. For parents, it’s important to learn about the tools the platforms offer to help their teen have a positive experience. For example, parents can help teens with their content recommendation settings, time management settings and set up parental supervision if it’s right for them.” – Screen Smart speaker, pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist, Dr. Hina Talib

That’s why we first piloted the Screen Smart series last year with hundreds of creators, community leaders and parents in five cities: New York, Miami, Chicago, Nashville and Seattle. During these events, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, and Meta’s Global Head of Safety, Antigone Davis, shared Meta’s ongoing efforts in this space. Attendees also heard from experts including child psychologist Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart and pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist Dr. Hina Talib. 

Whether it’s through events like these, ad campaigns, in-app promotion or resources in our Meta Family Center, we’re always working to educate parents on our safety features and tools, and to advocate for legislation that puts parents in charge of teen app downloads. 

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