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Sharing – Study finds no “smoking gun” for mental health issues due to Internet usage

There are studies that show some connection between using social media and mental health issues for some people. Other studies show that there’s no connection at all. Some show a connection, but not that one is caused by the other. This large study came to the conclusion you might come to if you looked at many of the studies. We don’t really know much of anything yet.

Despite the fact that we don’t necessarily know if there is a problem, there will always be people who jump on the panic button and demand we “do something”. Those people should be ignored, and that seems to be the conclusion they came to as well:

““If you really want an answer to this question, you have to hit pause on implementing your random idea you think is going to save young people,” he said. “You should have the type of data that would be required for a diagnosis before you start proposing solutions or treatments.””

When we rush to do something for the children, there’s a long history of implementing changes that do not help children. Running out to block teens from using social media might also cut them off from the only source of support they have, especially kids who do not have support at home from their parents. Creating age verification requirements threatens our privacy and creates unlimited risks for identity theft. Rushing to do something because a few studies show a possible mental health risk is dangerous.

If there were easy answers, we wouldn’t be where we are with youth mental health. There are no quick fixes here. We shouldn’t jump to create one.

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