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Growing up in the digital age: Kansas City 13-year-olds discuss the effect of social media

Two 13-year-old girls sit at a table. They are looking at the camera and the one on the left is holding a phone in her hand.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Makinah Faust, left, and Shannon Crum discuss what it's like being a 13-year-old girl growing up in the digital age.

Thirteen is a pivotal age. No longer just because the hormonal and physical changes the body is undergoing, but because in today's digital age, it's the benchmark to legally be allowed to join many social media platforms. Two Kansas City 13-year-olds share their perception of social media.

Becoming a teenager is not only a milestone that comes with hormonal changes, it's the age a minor can legally create a social media profile. As newly minted teens grapple with their identity and friendships in the real world, for some, there is an added pressure caused by the digital world and the growing use of social media.

More than 90% of 13- and 14-year-old teens have a smartphone and more than half use social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

"There's this audience, or a perception of an audience, at all times, and it lives in this device," said Jessica Bennett, a contributing editor for The New York Times, who chronicled the life of three 13-year-olds in America.

Two Kansas City 13-year-olds share how they use their phones and the discussions they have about the effects of social media.

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