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Ethical Considerations in Recruiting Adolescents for Research on Social Media: A Case Study

Alongside the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on people’s lives and livelihoods, academia has had to adjust to a new world where in-person research may not be possible in the near future. Social media — where 45% of teenagers spend time “almost constantly” (Anderson & Jiang, 2018) — is a promising option for research with adolescents. However, this type of research presents special ethical considerations.

Just Because We Can, Doesn’t Mean We Should
On June 17th, a White PhD student tweeted that he had scraped 10,000 tweets containing the hashtag #BlackinIvory. This hashtag was originally created for Black scholars to share personal stories of racism and discrimination in academia. Within minutes, dozens of scholars commented to discourage the PhD student from conducting this research without obtaining consent. The PhD student deleted the post and apologized.


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Is Social Comparison on Social Media Detrimental? It Depends on Whether You Are Comparing Abilities or Opinions

Social Media Comparison Based On Opinion, Rather Than Ability, Is Adaptive For Youth.

In the digital age, social media makes social comparison easy by providing rich materials for comparison. Social comparison is a self-evaluation process in which people compare themselves with others. Social comparison comes in two forms: comparison of ability and comparison of opinion (see herehere, and here for additional details). Ability comparison is competition-based and thus inherently judgmental. It focuses on determining the superiority or inferiority of one’s performances and achievements, relative to others. Opinion comparison is information-based. It centers on identifying similarities and differences in ideas, values, and attitudes between oneself and others.

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5 Ways Sexual Objectification in Mainstream Media can Impact Adolescent Viewers

The Science On Sexual Objectification, Its Impact On Teen Girls, And How They Can Push Back.

Adolescents learn about themselves, their bodies, and how to be a person in the world in many ways — from each other, from their families and schools, and also from popular culture. While most of these sources of influence can be facilitated intentionally by parents and educators, what happens in popular media cannot be controlled. However, parents and educators and other people supporting the positive development of adolescents can take an active role in helping young people understand and navigate the impact of popular media. To contribute to that process, this blog post examines one aspect of sexism in popular media: sexual objectification.

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