Social Media Warnings

Late last month, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory report on Social Media and Youth Mental Health. As expected, the report holds back a bit, being somewhat cautionary regarding making conclusions until more data is received. But the fact that the report even exists should wake us up! Listen to these introductory words from the report: Social media use by youth is nearly universal. Up to 95% of youth ages 13–17 report using a social media platform, with more than a third saying they use social media “almost constantly.” Although age 13 is commonly the required minimum age used by social media platforms in the U.S., nearly 40% of children ages 8–12 use social media. There are increasing concerns among researchers, parents and caregivers, young people, healthcare experts, and others about the impact of social media on youth mental health. The report correctly calls parents to action in terms of setting up borders and boundaries. Parents, this is your God-given responsibility.