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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouriar -- The world has awakened to the negative impacts of social media and the mounting pressure it places on our children. In September, the Wall Street Journal uncovered some of Facebook's own internal research, revealing the harmful effects Instagram has on teens' mental health, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders and even suicide. The pressures to conform and receive validation are all exacerbated on the photo-sharing platform. While Facebook grapples with addressing this issue, START: Stand Together and Rethink Technology, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, offers parents tips, tools and training for helping kids navigate social media safely.

"We are optimistic about the momentum stirred by the Wall Street Journal exposé," says Tracy Foster, START Co-Founder and Executive Director. "But while we wait for Facebook to respond and make changes to its platforms, we want to help parents in communicating with and mentoring their children in the digital world. That's where our Social Media Playbook comes in."

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Available as a free download on the START website (https://www.westartnow.org/social-media-playbook) or for purchase on Amazon ($15), the Social Media Playbook is a parent-child workbook for starting powerful conversations about social media. Families will be prompted to dig deeper into the purpose of social media in their lives and question the false standards it places on its users.

DoSomething.org reports that only 14% of youth believe they've had a helpful conversation with a trusted adult about technology. START believes kids need guidance as they steer through the land mines of social media. This is not something they can do alone. Yet, most parents feel helpless.

"Whether you're an adult or child, it's easy to get caught in the trap of comparing your life to everyone else's highlight reel," Foster says. "The goal of the Social Media Playbook is to create a safe place for open conversations about how to connect online and offline, how social media accounts make you feel and how to avoid negative experiences online. We hope families can gain clarity about the place of social media in their lives."

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About START
Founded in 2018, START is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that offers tips, tools and trainings to help families raise happy, healthy kids in an increasingly digital world. START's parent-education programs, including the Screen Sanity Group Study and Social Media Playbook, help parents consider the role technology plays in their lives and connect with their kids in meaningful ways—both offline and online. START also works with community stakeholders to explore ways they can support and reinforce healthy tech use in their spheres of influence. Learn more at https://www.westartnow.org

Media Contact
Abby Dean, Communications Manager
adean@westartnow.org


Source: START: Stand Together and Rethink Technology

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