U.S. Surgeon General warns social media may be harmful to the mental health of children
In an advisory released Wednesday, May 24, the surgeon general calls for more safeguards in social media platforms from policymakers and technology companies
FARGO — In the U.S. Surgeon General advisory on social media and youth , one study showed over 6,595 adolescents between 12 and 15 years old had twice the risk of symptoms of depression and anxiety as non-users when they spent more than three hours a day on social media.
States are starting to tighten regulations on social media platforms. Solutions led to states like Utah banning children under 18 from using social media unless giving parental permission.
While 13 is the minimum age to use social media, Sanford Psychologist Dr. Katelyn Mickelson said parents can play a big part in ensuring social media usage to be appropriate for that adolescent.
"I need, as a parent, to understand what apps my children are using, how they're using them, how I can appropriately monitor based on their developmental age," Mickelson said.
Mickelson said social media is relatively new and as children continue to grow, it will take some time for research to catch up.
"There are different social media platforms, so there can be TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Discord and they can go to commonsensemedia.org and they can look up the recommendations that they have there for each platform," Mickelson said.
Mickelson recommended healthychildren.org for more information for parents to manage social media usage in the household for all ages.