Understanding Social Media


Type of Resource


Publication Date

June 21, 2023


Social Media and Apps 

Social media refers to platforms that allow users to share information and content while interacting with each other.

You don’t need to actively use all of the platforms, but you do need to have an understanding of how children and young people in your care might use them.

It can be hard to keep up with the most popular apps that young people use and why they change. Connecting socially is important for the physical and emotional development of children in our care, but it’s important this is done safely.

Young woman watching a live stream

The behaviours that drive young people’s social media use can be:

You might use social media and already have an understanding of how it works, but generally, social media platforms have the following features:

Users display information/content about themselves for others to see.
Users share photos and videos with their friends/followers.
Users share posts and stories across platforms through social sharing buttons.
Users post videos and images on their profile for others to view for a limited amount of time.
Users add friends, join groups, and participate in chats and video calls.
Users send audio messages to their friends instead of text messaging.
Users communicate using private 1-2-1 chats and video calls with their friends or strangers.
Users broadcast live from their camera or screen to directly their followers.
Users create #HashTags to tag and track keywords. They can also use filters to edit photos/videos quickly.
Users are able to share their location with followers on their app, sometimes directly linking to Apple or Google maps.
Users express their reactions to other posts via emojis, likes, comments, or votes.

Welcome to the Online Safety Hub

How old are you?

If you are under 18, click the blue button below to visit the Online Safety Hub micro-site for children and young people.