Social Media Addiction in Kids


ORLANDO, FL (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Recently more than 40 states have filed suit in federal court against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. In the suit the states claim that the social media company has harmed young people’s mental health and promoted addiction. But just how harmful is social media for children and teens?

TikTok, X, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Whisper, Messenger, WhatsApp, PopJam … today’s kids and teens are hooked on social media. Research shows up to 95 percent of those between ages 13 to 16 report using social media, with more than one-third saying they use it “almost constantly.”

Kate Eshleman, PsyD, Pediatric Psychologist at Cleveland Clinic says, “If we’re spending a lot of time on our screens, that means we’re not doing other things. So, we might not be physically active, we may not be getting sufficient sleep. We may not be interacting with people in person.”

A large study found adolescents between ages 12 and 15 who spent more than three hours a day on social media had twice the risk of developing depression and anxiety. Other research has shown a link between social media use and eating disorders. And recently, the US Surgeon General issued a new advisory stating that social media use presents “a profound risk of harm” for kids. The report also claimed that it can “trigger pathways comparable to addiction.” Social Media Addiction

Eshleman says, “I think the challenge is, is when we’re always on screens, and we always have something entertaining us, we don’t learn to entertain ourselves, and that is a true deficit.”

So how can you limit their social media screen time? First: plan together! Set rules that everyone can agree on and post them in a visible area. Turn off devices at mealtimes and at least an hour before bed. Also, model good habits by limiting your own use. It could be the example your child needs!

Most social media sites require users to be at least 13 years old. But research shows nearly 40 percent of kids ages eight to 12 use the platforms.


Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor.

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