Intended for healthcare professionals


US surgeon general warns about excessive social media use by young people

BMJ 2023; 381 doi: (Published 26 May 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p1211
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

Children and adolescents are endangered by too much use of social media at a time when young brains are developing, potentially leading to anxiety and depression, the US surgeon general has warned in an advisory on social media use.1

“At this time, we do not yet have enough evidence to determine if social media is sufficiently safe for children and adolescents,” said Vivek Murthy’s report. US youngsters aged 13 to 16 spend an average of 3.5 hours a day on social media, the advisory said. It recommended that government policy makers set safety standards for social media companies, just as they have for toys and car seats.

The advisory warned parents, children, and adolescents about excessive use of social media. It called for changes by parents, young users, technology companies, and researchers in the …

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