The Big Number: 3 or more hours a day of social media use hurts youths’ mental health

It’s no secret that the amount of time we spend consuming media has increased dramatically and is still currently increasing. A recent study by JAMA Psychiatry revealed that children and teens who spend more than 3 hours using social media such as Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, loneliness and aggression than children who don’t. The survey was done nationally, on about 6,595 adolescents living in the United States.The finding wasn’t surprising, but thinking about the amount of children in this age range who definitely use these applications more than 3 hours a day this observation really puts things into perspective.

 Heavy social media use can lead to sleep problems and an increase the risk for cyberbullying, which has been tied to symptoms of depression, and result in unrealistic comparisons of yourself and your life to those of others seen on social media. Children who spend more than 6 hours a day on social media are 4 times more likely to suffer these problems.

Social media is proven to be detrimental to children and pre teens because they’re in a very fragile transitional period. Social media can be a very hostile, judgmental environment and it’s not for children of this age. Pediatrics suggest that parents have a media plan for their children so that they can monitor and control the amount of media their kids consume daily and what exactly they’re consuming. 

 

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