Screen time and social life: young children

Screen use can help your young child build relationships and develop social skills in several ways:

  • Using screens can help your child connect with other people. For example, your child could use video calls to keep in touch with family members who live a long way away.
  • Playing games can help your child develop social skills. For example, multiplayer games encourage your child to take turns and cooperate with others.
  • Sharing screen time with you builds your relationship with your child. For example, playing a game or watching a show together turns screen time into family time, especially when you talk about what you’re playing or watching.

Screen time and social life: older children and teenagers

Screen use can help your older or teenage child build relationships and develop social skills in several ways:

  • Using screens can help your child connect with other people. For example, social media, Skype and FaceTime let your child keep up with friends. Instant messaging or voice chat in online multiplayer games can do the same, when your child is playing with people she knows.
  • Playing games can help your child develop social skills. For example, playing online multiplayer games like Fortnite, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Clash of Clans and The Sims lets your child work as part of a team.

Social media is vital to teenagers’ and children’s social lives. They use social media to have fun, keep up with friends and family, share interests and explore identities. It does have risks like cyberbullying, but talking about social media use can help you ensure your child’s safety.