Social media can profoundly harm the mental health of youth, particularly adolescent girls, the U.S. Surgeon General warned in an advisory on May 23, and he called for safeguards from tech companies for children who are at critical stages of brain development.
Social media use may cause and perpetuate body image issues, affect eating behaviors and sleep quality, and lead to social comparison and low self-esteem, especially among adolescent girls, the advisory said, citing responses from a survey conducted among adolescents.
Adolescents who spend more than three hours per day on social media face double the risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes, such as symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to the advisory.
For more on the advisory, including what policymakers and tech companies should do, click here.
For resources on youth mental health from SPAN and the Federation of Families, click here.