Social Media and Youth Mental Health

I spent the first 15 years of my career working with teenagers, studying child and adolescent development. And what I can tell you is that throughout history, adults have consistently seen new technologies as potential threats, and we’ve been particularly concerned about the harm those technologies can have on children. 

It’s part of the reason why I’ve been slow to join the hand wringing around social media. 

Which doesn’t mean I’m dismissing the concerns. I’m clear that social media has played a role in triggering certain mental health issues. But a few weeks ago, the American Surgeon General proposed that social media platforms be required to publish a general warning about the danger to mental health, in much the same way we label alcohol and tobacco products with warnings. 

And it made me wonder if the adults in the room are once again viewing normal adolescent behaviors and misattributing the causes to the newest, loudest technology of the moment. 

Is this a real thing? Or the latest moral panic?

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What the surgeon general proposes for social media warnings.
  • If the rise in mental health issues is truly related to the rise of social media.
  • Whether any good can come from social media.

Xxoo Darcy

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