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At present, approximately three-quarters of teenagers own a smartphone, 24% of adolescents describe themselves as “constantly connected” to the Internet Mobile apps provide a breadth of specific functions, such as gaming, photo and video sharing, and global positioning system monitoring.

Social media sites and their associated mobile apps provide a platform for users to create an online identity, communicate with others, and build a social network.

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Although a digital divide likely still exists in terms of access to quality content and reliable Wi-Fi, it is now clear that most young children seen by a pediatric health care provider will have used or have been exposed to mobile technology.

Exactly what young children are doing on mobile technology has not been studied in great detail, because mobile device usage is relatively recent and methodologically difficult to assess.

Over the past decade, the use of digital media, including interactive and social media, has grown, and research evidence suggests that these newer media offer both benefits and risks to the health of children and teenagers.

Evidence-based benefits identified from the use of digital and social media include early learning, exposure to new ideas and knowledge, increased opportunities for social contact and support, and new opportunities to access health promotion messages and information.

Common Sense Media’s Zero to Eight survey has found disparities in the use of educational media on mobile devices, with 54% of children from higher-income families often or sometimes using educational content on mobile devices but only 28% of children from lower-income families doing so.

Studies show that social media use patterns and rates among older children and adolescents have continued to grow over the past decade, aided in part by the recent rise in mobile phone use among children and teenagers.Among the myriad accessible social networking sites, Facebook remains the most popular, with 71% of 13- to 17-year-olds surveyed by the Pew Research Center in 20 reporting using this site/app.However, adolescents today do not typically dedicate themselves to just 1 site; most teenagers maintain a “social media portfolio” of several selected sites including, as indicated by rates of use in the Pew survey, Instagram (52%), Snapchat (41%), Twitter (33%), Google (33%), Vine (24%), Tumblr (14%), and other social media (11%).To promote health and wellness in children and adolescents, it is important to maintain adequate physical activity, healthy nutrition, good sleep hygiene, and a nurturing social environment.A healthy Family Media Use Plan ( Use Plan) that is individualized for a specific child, teenager, or family can identify an appropriate balance between screen time/online time and other activities, set boundaries for accessing content, guide displays of personal information, encourage age-appropriate critical thinking and digital literacy, and support open family communication and implementation of consistent rules about media use.By parent report, most children in the Kabali et al study watched You Tube or Netflix primarily, and smaller proportions watched educational programs and played early-learning apps (eg, alphabet and counting apps).

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