AMA warns of potential negative health effects of social media

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While platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram give people the ability to connect with anyone in the world, the American Medical Association (AMA) has announced the adoption of new policies outlining the negative health effects of social media.

In the past decade, social media has developed from its infancy to be a daily routine for 68 percent of American adults and 71 percent of teenagers. However, the growth in relevance has led to negative consequences, including depression when teenagers spend too much time online.

“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, MD, 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.”

AMA’s new policy urges schools to offer safe and educational programs that teach students how to identify and effectively respond to the onset of possible health impacts caused by social media.