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Social Media May Damage Teens' Mental Health. But a New Study Offers Advice on How to Use It Safely

Social media less harmful

Social media less harmful
The public and experts alike have blamed social media for a long list of mental health issues, including rising rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior among America’s youth. But research on the subject is conflicting.
Social media is associated with mental health issues, the research says—but only under certain circumstances, and only for certain people. 

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Limit your use of social media
Limit your use of social media

Commit to not checking social media during meals with family and friends, and when playing with children or talking with a partner. 

Make sure social media doesn’t interfere with ...

Have “detox” periods

Even a five-day or weeklong break from Facebook can lead to lower stress and higher life satisfaction

Publicly declare you are on a break. And delete the apps for your favorite social media services.

You can also cut back without going cold turkey: limit your use of social media to 10 minutes a day for three weeks and you'll see improvements in your mental health. 

Pay attention to how you use social media

Experiment with using your favorite online platforms at different times of day and for varying lengths of time, to see how you feel during and after each session. 

You may find that a few short spurts help you feel better than spending 45 minutes exhaustively scrolling through a site’s feed. 

A Child's Mental Health
A Child's Mental Health

Various studies conducted in the U.S. population indicate growing anxiety towards a possibly grim future. Political turmoil, gun violence, global plagues, changing power structure and a widening ri...

Antidepressants And Opioid Epidemic

Pharmaceuticals are playing a major role in the deterioration of mental health among young people. There is a link between teen suicidal thinking and antidepressant use, along with a link being seen in actual suicides among the young and the use of opioids in their families.

Smartphones and Social Media

Across age groups, social media is potentially hazardous, with its tendency to amplify the social divide.

There is a strong relationship between anxiety/depression and the use of smartphones, particularly social media usage among kids, though the data also seem to show the positive effects of staying connected with their peers. Online distractions also make youngsters give up their offline life, leading to isolation and further depression.

Have ‘detox’ periods

Schedule regular multi-day breaks from social media. 

Pay attention to how you feel

Experiment with using your favorite online platforms at different times of day and for varying lengths of time, to see how you feel during and after each session.

You may find that a few short spurts help you feel better than spending 45 minutes exhaustively scrolling through a site’s feed.