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In our modern and digitally connected society, social media has become an unavoidable aspect of adolescent existence. Yet, recent investigations uncover a disquieting reality: teens who spend too much time on social media are at higher risk for mental health issues like depression and anxiety. As teens devote substantial chunks of their days to scrolling, liking, and sharing online, we must explore ways to promote healthier digital habits.

Open discussions about their online experiences and practical limits on screen time are crucial first steps. By understanding the potential risks and benefits of youthful digital connectivity, we can empower teens to use social media safely while seeking help when needed. Navigating these virtual realms requires thoughtful guidance to protect young minds. Here are a few facts about social media use:


• adolescents who spend more than 3 hours a day on social media face double the risk of mental health problems including experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

• a recent survey showed that teenagers spend an average of 3.5 hours a day on social media

• And when asked about the impact of social media on their body image, 46% of adolescents aged 13-17 said social media makes them feel worse

• Up to 95% of youth ages 13–17 report using a social media platform, with more than a third saying they use social media “almost constantly.”

• Since electronics can be a potential distraction after bedtime and can interfere with sleep, consider restricting the use of phones, tablets, and computers for at least 1 hour before bedtime and through the night.

• Consider keeping family mealtimes and in-person gatherings device-free to build social bonds and engage in a two-way conversation

• Discuss with children the benefits and risks of social media as well as the importance of respecting privacy and protecting personal information in age-appropriate ways. Have conversations with children about who they are connecting with, their privacy settings, their online experiences, and how they are spending their time online. Empower and encourage them to seek help should they need it.

• Don’t keep online harassment or abuse a secret. Reach out to at least one person you trust, such as a close friend, family member, counselor, or teacher, who can give you the help and support you deserve.

For help and more information, contact:
Lauren McArdle, Ph.D., District 95 at 847-540-4973
or Sara Marx, LCPC, NCC, Ela Township at 847-540-8380

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