Adolesc Med 025 (2014) xv Preface Social Networking & New Technologies Today’s teens are often referred to as digital natives because of their upbringing immersed in technologic tools including smartphones and social media, while most of us who provide health care for this group remain, at best, digital immigrants. These technologies present both new opportunities and challenges to teens’ health as well as to their education and life experiences. Pediatricians can play a key role in helping teens and their families navigate critical issues, such as balancing their online and offline lives as well as understanding the links between media and health. This issue of AM:STARS is meant to provide pediatricians with knowledge and updates so that they feel prepared to have these conversations with patients and families in the busy clinical office setting. Several articles set the stage for understanding the digital landscape and adolescents’ immersion in media, both across diverse countries in an article describing social media from an international perspective, and understanding dimensions of both “new” and “old” media. Given the emergence of cell phones and smartphones as standard operating equipment for today’s teens, we provide an article exploring the epidemiology of cell phone use. Furthermore, as increasing numbers of physicians and health care systems begin to provide health education via blogs, we provide an article describing blogs, including a blog focused on teen health: “Teenology101.” Finally, teens’ access to, and facility with, the online environment provide new opportunities to engage them in their own health care via electronic health records and related tools. Several articles address links between media and specific health behaviors, including sex, eating disorders, mental health, and substance use. These issues remain salient to this generation of adolescents as they have for many previous generations. However, technology and social media provide new outlets for teens to express their views and experiences, as well as new venues to reach teens for prevention, education, and intervention. Some chapters investigate emergent adolescent health concerns that directly relate to technology. Problematic Internet use (PIU) is an emerging public health issue that includes risky Internet use, such as seeking inappropriate content, and Internet use that is characterized as compulsive or addictive. Cyberbullying is a frequent topic in news media, typically highlighting rare cases that involve devastating consequences such as suicide. The online environment also provides new venues for old behaviors an article explores how teens use the Internet to seek pornography as well as to share intimate photographs with peers via sexting. In cases of cyberbullying and sexting, pediatricians may be asked to provide support and resources for teens who have experienced, perpetrated, or observed these behaviors. Thus, we provide an article on the legal risks of adolescent online communication to address these common issues. Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved. ISSN 1934-4287
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