Social Media Needs Warning Label “Mental Health Emergency” Experts Cited 

Social Media Needs Warning Label "Mental Health Emergency" Experts Cited. Credit | Getty Images
Social Media Needs Warning Label "Mental Health Emergency" Experts Cited. Credit | Getty Images

United States: Social media is dangerous to children, and the situation calls for an emergency, whereby the expert called on Congress to add a warning label to the apps as it does with smoking and drinking, 

More about the case 

According to Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, “The mental health crisis among young people is an emergency — and social media has emerged as an important contributor,” as the New York Times reported. 

Murthy took several case studies, including the American Medical Association study of 2019, published in JAMA, to showcase that those teens who spend around three hours a day on social media are at a greater risk of developing depression. 

According to a Gallup poll, teens normally occupy themselves for nearly five on average on social media apps. 

Surgeon GeneralVivek Murthy. Credit | Getty Images
Surgeon GeneralVivek Murthy. Credit | Getty Images

What more have the experts stated? 

Murthy said, “It is time to require a surgeon general’s warning label on social media platforms, stating that social media is associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents,” as CNN Health reported. 

“A surgeon general’s warning label, which requires congressional action, would regularly remind parents and adolescents that social media has not been proven safe,” he continued. 

Lawmakers role in limiting social media usage 

Previous warning labels on tobacco products, also introduced in 1965, have been associated with the gradual smoking of cigarettes in American society in the past few decades. 

Lawmakers have vilified social media firms for years, saying that their platform[s] are dangerous for children. Chiefs of tech industries have been interrogated on Capitol Hill regularly, especially the CEO and the founder of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, who personally provided apologies to families that lost their children to suicide following online bullying and harassment. 

Social Media Needs Warning Label "Mental Health Emergency" Experts Cited. Credit | Shutterstock
Social Media Needs Warning Label “Mental Health Emergency” Experts Cited. Credit | Shutterstock

However, Congress has done very little to ensure that children are not too reliant on the various forms of social media. 

Murthy lamented that it was high time for Congress to wake up from snore and start cracking down on children’s social media dependencies. 

Murthy said, “Not only have companies not demonstrated that their platforms are not safe for kids, but there’s growing evidence of harm,” as NBC’s “Today” show reported. 

He continued, “That’s deeply concerning to me, not only as a surgeon general but also as a parent. A warning label could help parents understand these risks — many parents don’t know those risks exist.” 

What other actions are required to be taken? 

Murthy admitted that if Congress passes a law requiring the issue to be addressed, Murtthat hy admitted. 

He recommended that schools should be phone-free zones for children and that dinner time and other family gatherings should be included. 

Murthy encouraged parents to limit social media access for their children until they finish middle school. 

Various states have attempted to create laws increasing the age of children allowed to start using social apps or some of the most time-consuming features of social apps, such as algorithms encouraging users to spend more time within the app. 

The bills have been passed predominantly under both parties with support from both the Democrat and Republicans. 

That is why the Republican Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis himself in March signed a bill, that would set up restrictions on children’s access to social media, according to which, children below 14 will not be permitted to possess their own social media account while children below 16 will not be allowed to open an account without their parents’ permission. 

The New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul stated that she would enact legislation passed by the state legislature which would prohibit recommendation systems from functioning in the feeds of children and would also outlaw the companies from sharing data pertaining to children under 18 years of age. 

Murthy added, “This is much easier said than done, which is why parents should work together with other families to establish shared rules, so no parents have to struggle alone or feel guilty when their teens say they are the only one who has to endure limits,” as CNN Health reported.