Does social media cause mental health issues among children?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The country’s top pediatricians said the mental health crisis among children has gotten so dire, it has become a national emergency.

The data is highlighting the outfall from the pandemic as a driving force.

But could there be other reasons?

And it fits in the palm of your hand.

Your cellphone or other electronic devices you use to tap into social media, all that scrolling on social media may be negatively impacting your children’s lives

“Social media is way out of hand. Somethings are cold and some things are bad,” said Karen Sanders, a parent.

Sanders said she monitored all three of her children’s screen time because she knows the negative impact it can have on children’s minds.

“Kids just don’t know. Unless they have parents in their lives.  You have to talk to your child and let them know what’s right and wrong,” Sanders said.

Sanders is not surprised by the studies that show the pandemic has led to record highs of depression rates among children.

“Things are progressively worsening for teens and their mental health,” said Rikki Harris, TN Voices.

Rikki Harris the CEO of TN Voices believes social media is a major contributing factor.

“The data is not out in the story to connect these dots, but I think it’s safe for parents to start connecting the dots now,” Harris said.

Harris said data show one in three girls and one in five boys now experience symptoms of depression and anxiety.

“I think we need to talk about what that means when they’re alone on social media and feeling alone, different and bullied,” Sanders said.

Harris said it’s vital parents notice changes in their children’s behavior. These changes may include symptoms of loneliness, loss of interest, and sadness for more than one or two weeks.

“You can create some rules around the apps,” Harris said. “How much time can be spent. There are definitely ways to utilize phone restrictions and there are settings to help you restrict time on the phone.”

“Social media has good and bad parts, but you can’t start living everything you see on social media,” Sanders said.

The Facebook whistleblower claims Facebook prioritized profits over safety and hid its own research from investors and the public.

Something Facebook denies.

If you believe your child is struggling with their mental health visit their website.