The head of the U.S. public health authority warned publicly that “there are many indicators that social media (SNS) can cause serious harm to the health of children and adolescents.”
In a 19-page advisory issued on the 23rd (local time), head of the U.S. Public Health Service, Vivek Mercy, said, “There is not enough evidence that social media is safe for children and young people,” urging tech companies and parents to take immediate protective measures. urged The recommendation pointed out, citing a survey by the Pew Research Center, a US polling agency, in which 95% of US 13-17 year olds and 40% of 8-12 year olds responded that they use social media. Director Mercy asked back, “Many SNS platforms limit the age of use to 13 years old or older, but would this result be possible if they were actually restricted?”
The head of the Public Health Service Corps (Seojeon General) is also called the “American doctor” as he oversees overall national health policy. Distributed to the public, the ‘Sergeant General Recommendation’ is an official advisory issued when there are urgent health issues that require public attention and immediate change.
Director Mercy explained that the benefits of social media are also obvious, such as providing a space for racial or sexual minority youth to find friends with whom they can identify and express themselves. However, he emphasized the adverse effects social media can have on brain development. Adults can also suffer from SNS harm, but children are fundamentally different from adults in that they are in the stage of learning social relationships and forming self-esteem and self-identity.
In addition, Director Mercy pointed out that SNS causes excessive comparison with others, bullying, and hatred. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates among 10-24-year-olds jumped 57% between 2007 and 2018.
He called on tech companies and governments to come up with concrete measures to protect children, saying it was “not fair” to blame all these issues on children and parents. Director Mercy said in an interview with NPR the previous day, “Just like other products used by children, such as car seats, toys, and medicines, there must be safety standards for SNS.”
The US New York Times (NYT) reported that, just as health authorities brought national attention to smoking in the 1960s, AIDS in the 1980s, and obesity in the 2000s, Director Mercy recently made social media side effects a subject of social discussion following gun violence and loneliness. analyzed to raise it.
The advisory recommends that families also refrain from using devices such as smartphones during face-to-face times such as meals so that they can talk to each other and build bonds. In an interview with the Associated Press, Director Mercy said that he would not allow his two children, who are now 5 and 6 years old, to use social media until they enter middle school.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.