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US Urged to Address Mental Health Risks of Social Media on Adolescents

Mental Health Risks of Social Media on Adolescents

United States: Social media sites should place warning labels akin to tobacco product that is, on new-generation teenagers who are struggling with mental health issues partly due to use of the applications, United States surgeon, general Vivek Murthy noted in his article Monday in the New York Times Newspaper.

While addressing the matter, Murthy was quoted saying, “It is time to require a surgeon general’s warning label on social media platforms, stating that social media is associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents,” according to CBS News.

 The same urge would be like the messages they put on the cover of cigarette packets that Murthy said have been known to ‘raise awareness and also alter behaviour’ Since this is an addition that shifts things to a wholly new level, it would entail an amendment to the legislation before Congress.

Global provider of digital services, Meta, which owns both Facebook and Instagram, did not provide a response regarding the inquiry.

Murthy has before expounded on the ills that teenagers fall victim to, resulting from the social media platforms; the very platforms that he last year campaigned for issuing of more stringent protocols to children and teenagers, arguing that the apps presented what at his time referred to as a profound risk to the growing teens’ psychological well-being. On Monday, Murthy pointed out that posting or displaying the warning labels by themselves is insufficient to transform the platforms into safe ones for kids and that establishing safety features “are the priorities that stand. ”

Congress also has to pass laws that will guard kids from cruel messages, threats, and sexual solicitations online and from viewing violent and sexual content, he wrote.

In addition to this, Murthy stated, “The measures should prevent platforms from collecting sensitive data from children and should restrict the use of features like push notifications, autoplay and infinite scroll, which prey on developing brains and contribute to excessive use.”

The surgeon general is also suggesting that companies should publicly disclose all information on the effects on health that they are currently withholding and also allow the auditing of safety by other parties.

The latter said schools and parents also have to do their part of contributing to phone-free times while doctors, nurses, and other clinicians should assist other families in making safer choices.

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