Social media warnings won’t protect kids, but something else will

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On June 17, current Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who also served under former President Donald Trump, called for new warning labels on social media platforms. The language he wants states that “social media is associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents.” 

This follows Murthy’s public advisory last year warning that social media contributed to “a national youth mental health crisis.” According to his advisory, “adolescents who spend more than three hours per day on social media face double the risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes, such as symptoms of depression and anxiety.”  

Yet research shows teens on average spend nearly five hours per day on social media. Murthy also warned that age 13 is “too early” for social media and has previously suggested 16 as a better starting point.  

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