Teenagers at 13 are too young for social media

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Teenagers: In this digital age, social media has become a significant part of people’s daily life.

The majority of users are millennials, who grew with technology and contributed to the development of the online world.

Gen Zs, on the other hand, are reaching maturity and starting to use social media as early as 13 years old, a subject that has received attention from experts.

Finding their identity

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy thinks that 13 is too early for kids to get profiles on social networking sites.

Murthy emphasized that although many websites enable kids that age to sign up, they are still trying to figure themselves out.

13-year-olds are permitted to sign up for the following social media platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Wink

“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.”

Concerns

The prevalence of teen social media use has raised worries among medical experts.

They emphasized a number of academic studies about the possible harm that the platforms may do to youngsters.

Vivek Murthy recognized that it would be difficult to keep children off social media owing to the platforms’ popularity.

On the other hand, parents can if they put on 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.”

Read also: Baby food manufacturers urged to lower lead levels

Psychological effects

Recent studies have shown that teens’ brain chemistry changes as a result of frequent social media use.

According to a research published in January by JAMA Pediatrics, children who often check social media exhibit increased neuronal sensitivity in some areas of their brains.

Their brains are more sensitive to social repercussions as a result.

Along with her colleagues, psychiatrist Dr. Adriana Stacey has raised the issue over the years.

Stacey, who deals largely with teenagers and college students, claimed that using social media causes a “dopamine dump.”

“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.”

More time spent in front of a screen can affect brain development, according to recent studies.

For instance, increased screen time was directly linked to younger children’s weaker language development and nascent literacy skills.

Lawmaker reacts

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is adding to concerns about social media among teenagers.

In a recent op-ed in Bulwark, he discussed mental health and loneliness, echoing Murthy’s worries about social media.

“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.”

The senator and surgeon general have personal experiences with social media addiction.

Both Vivek Murthy and Chris Murphy are fathers; Vivek has small children and Chris has teenagers.

“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 add that despite Big Tech, the United States is not powerless as a country.

He thinks policymakers can take diverse actions to prevent children from using social media while encouraging businesses to develop an algorithm that is less addictive.

In the meanwhile, Murthy addressed addictive algorithms, claiming that teenagers and Big Tech aren’t fighting a fair battle.

“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 future 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.”

Robert Lee

Robert Lee is a distinguished political correspondent who brings a wealth of experience from covering national and international affairs. His perceptive analysis and thorough reporting have established him as a reliable voice in the realm of political journalism. An astute observer of political institutions and mechanisms, Robert offers a unique insight into power dynamics and global influences. As an influential author for CEO Times Magazine, he continues to shed light on important political narratives.

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