Facebook Messenger Kids Should I let my children use Facebook’s Messenger Kids app? - Q: I recently read about Facebook’s new messenger app for kids. My kids, who are 6 and 9, have their own smartphones and currently use them for calling/texting only (I think). We’ve avoided using social media apps, as I worry about the content and protecting their privacy. Is Facebook’s new app a good “gateway” app for... Read more »

Teenage boy using his cell phone while his mother looks at him with a worried expression How can I help my teen focus and stop procrastinating with media? - Q: My 17 year-old son spends 4-5 hours at a time on YouTube, clicking endlessly from one sports comedy show to another. He is doing okay in high school, but will binge-watch or follow links from site to site until the wee hours. I can’t get him to put the phone or laptop down. I... Read more »
Fake Instagram Should I be concerned about my teen’s Finstagram (fake Instagram) account? - Q: My 16 year old daughter is obsessed with Instagram and constantly taking pictures to share on the app. I recently discovered that she has two accounts…one of which she calls her “Finstagram” and says she only allows her closest friends to follow her (I follow her on her more “popular” account). While I understand it’s... Read more »
Video Game Convention Media Moment: So Your Child Wants To Go To A Video Game Convention - Dear Reader, Welcome to another Media Moment! This month, Wesley Sanders, a post-doctoral fellow at the Boston VA Healthcare System and clinical psychology research affiliate of Boston University, shares how parents can better understand kids’ gaming interests and learn ways to support their children’s healthy media use by attending video game conventions with them. These... Read more »
Texting suicide Can my teen be charged for a crime based on what she texts to her friends? - Q: I recently read that a young woman was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for texting a friend to kill himself.  I find this case incredibly concerning because the girl who was convicted was only 17 at the time and my own teens text each other in ways that could be easily misinterpreted. For example, my 16-year-old... Read more »