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Teenagers: In the digital era, social media has a big influence on how individuals live their everyday lives.
The bulk of users are millennials, who as a result of growing up in the digital age have revolutionized it.
Gen Zs, on the other hand, are growing and starting to use social media as early as 13-year-old teenagers, according to research.
Finding their identity
Children should wait until they are 13 years old to create social networking pages, according to US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.
Murthy underscored that although many websites allow teenagers that age to sign up, they are still just trying to find themselves.
Teenagers aged 13 and older can sign up for the following social media sites:
“I, personally, based on the data I’ve seen, believe that 13 is too early,” said Murthy.
“It’s a time where it’s really important for us to be thoughtful about what’s going into how they think about their own self-worth and their relationship and the skewed and often distorted environment of social media often does a disservice to many of those children.”
The growing usage of social media by youngsters worries medical professionals.
They referenced a variety of scholarly studies on the potential risks that the platforms pose to teenagers.
Vivek Murthy recognized that it would be difficult to stop youngsters from accessing social media given its popularity.
However, they can be successful if parents put up a unified front.
“If parents can band together and say you know, as a group, we’re not going to allow our kids to use social media until 16 or 17 or 18 or whatever age they choose,” he offered.
“That’s a much more effective strategy in making sure your kids don’t get exposed to harm early.”
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Teenagers who use social media often often suffer changes in their brain chemistry, according to recent studies.
According to a paper published in January by JAMA Pediatrics, teenagers who often check social media have increased neuronal sensitivity in some regions of their brains.
Their brains are more sensitive to social implications as a result.
According to psychiatrist Dr. Adriana Stacey and her cohorts, the topic has come up quite a bit over the years.
Most of the college students and teenagers Stacey works with experience a “dopamine dump” as a result of using social media.
“When we do things that are addictive like use cocaine or use smartphones, our brains release a lot of dopamine at once,” she said. “It tells our break to keep using that.”
“For teenagers in particular, this part of their brain is actually hyperactive compared to adults. They can’t get motivated to do anything else.”
Increased screen use may impair, according to recent studies.
For instance, there was a strong relationship between more screen time and less advanced literacy and language skills in younger children.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is more seriously worried than ever about social media.
He recently expressed his worries about social media in an opinion post for Bulwark that addressed loneliness and mental health.
“We have lost something as a society, as so much of our life has turned into screen-to-screen communication,” said Murphy.
“It just doesn’t give you the same sense of value and the same sense of satisfaction as talking to somebody or seeing someone.”
Both the surgeon general and the senator are aware of the negative effects of social media addiction.
Chris Murphy and Vivek Murthy, both fathers, have teenagers as well as younger children.
“It’s not coincidental that Dr. Murthy and I are probably talking more about this issue of loneliness more than others in public life,” said Murphy.
“I look at this through the prism of my 14-year-old and my 11-year-old.”
Chris Murphy went on to say that despite dealing with Big Tech, the United States is not a defenseless nation.
In addition to pressuring companies to devise less addictive algorithms, in his opinion, the government needs to take a variety of steps to discourage teenagers from using social media.
Murthy stated that there is an unequal battle going on between teenagers and Big Tech over the problem of addictive algorithms.
“You have some of the best designers and product developers in the world who have designed these products to make sure people are maximizing the amount of time they spend on these platforms,” said the surgeon general.
“And if we tell a child, use the force of your willpower to control how much time you’re spending, you’re pitting a child against the world’s greatest product designers.”
Chris Murphy is still upbeat about the potential of social media in spite of the difficulties.
“None of this is out of our control. When we had dangerous vehicles on the road, we passed laws to make those vehicles less dangerous,” he said.
“We should make decisions to make [social media] a healthier experience that would make kids feel better about themselves and less alone.”