US top health official Warns of Harm Caused by Children’s Social Media Use:
The US surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, issued a stern warning to parents, tech companies, and regulators on Tuesday, noting that there is growing evidence of the substantial harm caused by children using social media.
Vivek Murthy stressed in a thorough warning that while social media has benefits, there are drawbacks as well.
“There are ample indicators that social media can also have a profound risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.”
Nearly all young people in the United States use social media, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly 95% of teenagers report using it, and more than a third say they do it “almost constantly.”
According to Murthy’s assessment, social media can help kids and teenagers develop a feeling of community, but it also has information that is “extreme, inappropriate, and harmful.” The possibility of normalising self-harm and suicide exists in this material.
The study issued a warning that social media use may increase the risk of depression, eating disorders, and body dissatisfaction. Furthermore, it exposes kids to cyberbullying when their brains are still developing, which is a critical time.
Murthy urged policymakers to enhance safety standards for social media and encouraged tech companies to responsibly evaluate the impact of their products on children. He also advised parents to establish tech-free areas at home to encourage face-to-face communication and to educate their children by setting an example of healthy and responsible online behavior.
Authorities around the country are currently looking for ways to control social media use and lessen its negative effects, especially on young people.
The Chinese-owned video-sharing platform TikTok is contesting the state of Montana’s recent decision to outlaw the use of TikTok within its borders in court. Additionally, Utah became the first state in the United States to require parental approval for adolescents’ usage of social media accounts in March.
“We are in the middle of a national youth mental health crisis, and I am concerned that social media is an important driver of that crisis – one that we must urgently address,” Murthy said.