The Technology and Adolescent Mental Wellness (TAM) Colloquium took place on Thursday, January 12, 2023. It was a great opportunity for us to hear from each part of the TAM community including TAM Data Consortium recipients, YAB Initiative groups, and our very own TAM Youth Advisory Board (YAB) panel.
The TAM YAB was created alongside the TAM Community in 2019. Since its inception, we have always tried to include our youth in as many aspects of the conversation around technology and adolescent mental wellbeing as possible. One way we have been reaching this goal is to include each year’s TAM YAB members in a youth panel at the colloquium. We are always in awe of the thoughts and perspectives that our youth share during the panel.
Here are some of our favorite YAB quotes from the TAM YAB panel:
Q: What kind of questions should researchers be asking about social media and mental wellness?
A: Adults focus on the negatives, but there are a lot of positives, such as using it to connect with others.
A: There are different ways to use social media that aren’t talked about. I don’t post as much and follow my favorite celebrities and musicians while others post a lot.
Q: What have been some helpful ways adults have talked to you about technology?
A: It is important to take break and find a balance between screen free activities and screen activities.
A: We want to hear advice about social media from people who actually use it.
Q: What does online safety mean to you?
A: Online safety to me means keeping yourself and your privacy safe online. If you don’t want people to know something, don’t put it online. Be careful who you are talking to and be aware of your digital footprint.
Q: What have been some helpful ways doctors or therapists have talked to you about technology use?
A: I wouldn’t mind my doctor asking me questions about my social media use.
Q: How do you use technology to get yourself out of a bad mood?
A: When I’m in a bad mood I turn to music. I try to avoid TikTok because it is too serious.
A: I tend to like Instagram memes and YouTube when I’m in a bad mood.
A: Sometimes I use social media to get out of regular life.
A: I call a friend.
Q: How do you avoid the ‘bad stuff’ on social media?
A: I block accounts, especially on TikTok, if they make me uncomfortable or are posting about bad things.
For more information about the TAM YAB visit tamprogram.org/tam-youth.