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In 2023, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory on the impacts of social media on youth mental health, urging people to take action. Dr. Murthy highlighted the harmful effects of social media on children, such as increased risk of anxiety and depression symptoms, negative body image, and reduced time for sleep and in-person interactions. He stated that kids are spending an average of five hours a day on social media, doubling the risk of mental health issues.

During a discussion on social media and its impact on youth in Lincoln, Dr. Murthy stopped in to emphasize the challenge of addressing the negative impacts of social media is not one that kids or parents should face alone. He expressed frustration at the lack of meaningful safeguards implemented by federal legislators over the past 20 years and stressed the importance of data transparency, safety, and privacy standards.

Dr. Murthy’s call to action for implementing safeguards and setting limitations is crucial in addressing this issue as it is evident that social media has a significant impact on youth mental health.

Parents can take action at home by establishing “tech-free zones” and teaching kids how to use social media responsibly. Dr. Dave Miers of Bryan Medical Center pointed out that suicide and attempted suicide rates are on the rise in kids due to the pressures they face from social media.

The desire for instant popularity and the quest for likes and followers contribute to this issue.

In conclusion, it is crucial that we address the negative impacts of social media on youth mental health by implementing safeguards and setting limitations through data transparency, safety, and privacy standards at both federal level

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