That’s a question people are asking after U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory Tuesday saying there isn’t enough evidence to determine whether social media is safe enough for children and youth when it comes to their mental health.
Dr. Jerome Adams, WISH-TV medical expert and a former U.S. surgeon general, spoke about the case on Friday’s News 8 at
“We know we’re in the midst of a mental health crisis nationally, and it’s especially pronounced for our young people,” Adams said. “What we’ve found in what Dr. Murphy points out in that study is that social media is a big trigger for these mental health issues.
“If you spend more than three hours on social media as a young person every day, you are twice as likely to have anxiety and depressive symptoms, and they have actually found that if you reduce your use of social media, it can significantly lower your consumption. depression and anxiety symptoms.
“So this is a factor that really has an impact on our young people. It’s both content that they’re exposed to, sexual content to violent content, but also being pressured to keep up with the Joneses, if you will, and that’s also addictive behavior It is problematic use.
“Young people say they can’t stop using. Knowing this, social media use should be part of the discussion with pediatricians. Absolutely.”
Adams noted that the report from Murphy’s office also includes tips for families, doctors and technology experts.
The former surgeon general added: “As adults we should model responsible behavior on social media and we should teach kids about technology and empower them to be responsible online users. I often say this is a tool like a hammer. It can help you building a house or it could hurt you. We want kids to be able to use social media in a productive way.”
New COVID study
About 10% of people appear to suffer long-term COVID after an omicron infection, a lower estimate than earlier in the pandemic, according to a study of nearly 10,000 Americans that aims to help unravel the mysterious condition. The new research was published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Adams says that before omicron, the rate of long COVID after an infection was about 33%.
The new study, Adams says, omicron doesn’t have as much of an effect on Americans as previous varieties.
Adams also reiterated his advice to people to get vaccinated against COVID and keep vaccinations up to date.
Health Spotlight is presented by the Community Health Network.