Despite mounting mental health concerns, teens remain heavy social media users

Despite growing worry that social media use can harm youth mental health, teens still use major platforms at high rates, according to a new survey conducted by Pew Research Center. About half the respondents characterized their use as “almost constant.” The online survey of 1,453 U.S. teens between the ages of 13 and 17 was conducted this fall, months after the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory warning that social media can pose a “profound risk of harm” to youth. Pew Research Center said in a report detailing the findings that teens’ site and app usage had changed little since spring 2022, the last time the center surveyed youth about their social media habits. The survey did not ask how teens felt about their use, or whether it affected their mental health and well-being. Dr. Laura Erickson-Schroth, chief medical officer of The Jed Foundation (JED), did not review the findings prior to publication but said that social media platforms remain vital for teens. SEE ALSO: Do you know who’s posting pictures of your kid online? They are spaces where youth build community, develop their interests, learn about the news, find health information, explore their identities, and distract themselves from stressors. “Young people have a fear of missing out, which is based in reality since so many of their peers are online,” Erickson-Schroth said.She believes it’s unrealistic to expect teens to be solely responsible for how they engage social media, even if their experiences aren’t uniformly positive. For teens…Despite mounting mental health concerns, teens remain heavy social media users