Three blockbuster reports focused on teens and technology have come out recently:
- Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018, by Monica Anderson and Jingjing Jiang (Pew Research Center)
- Digital Health Practices, Social Media Use, and Mental Well-Being Among Teens and Young Adults in the U.S., by Victoria Rideout and Susannah Fox (Hopelab and Well Being Trust)
- Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences, by Victoria Rideout and Michael B. Robb (Common Sense Media)
There are lessons in the data for parents, educators, technology companies, media, policymakers, mental health advocates…the list goes on. Nearly every industry is focused on teens because they are both a vulnerable and potentially lucrative population. But in health care, the focus is generally on older adults, who are more likely than teens to need high levels of attention and services when it comes to their well-being.
Health care business leaders might be wondering what to make of all the incoming teens data — and whether any of it has salience for their work. I share my take in HealthTech magazine: “How Healthcare Leaders Can Fuel Care for the Next Generation.”
My advice boils down to three words: search, mobile, and social.
- Search: Make sure your organization — or the information you want people to have — is readily available to someone who is typing keywords into a search engine. Dr. Google is the de facto second opinion for everyone, including teens.
- Mobile: Optimize everything you do for mobile screens. Higher- and lower-income people – including Medicaid beneficiaries – use their phones for nearly everything.
- Social: Find ways to connect people to experts, including when that means connecting them with each other.
What do you think? What other lessons should we learn from teens?
- Digital health practices among teens and young adults in the U.S.
- Peer health advice among teens and young adults
- Teens and young adults: In their own words
Photo by Meghan Fox