To tackle these challenges, the new AMA policy urges schools to provide safe and effective educational programs through which students can learn to identify and mitigate the onset of mental health impacts caused by social media usage.
“According to research conducted by Pew, across the country, nearly a quarter of teens are online ‘almost constantly,’ and 92 percent go online every day,” said AMA Board Member Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., MPH. “Social media has the power to bring people closer together and to build communities, but research also is showing a link between increased social media use and an uptick in anxiety and depression. In addition to increasing awareness of these dangers among parents and teens, we must do more in our schools to identify and address them as early as possible.”
In addition to the Facebook usage numbers cited above, Pew found that among American teens, 52 percent use Instagram and 41 percent use Snapchat. Among the 68 percent of U.S. adults who use Facebook, 76 percent check their account daily.