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The US Surgeon General is calling for social media to have warnings similar to those on cigarettes

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US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has made an unusual appeal to Congress. In his opinion, social media should contain health warnings similar to those on alcohol or cigarettes. Social media is contributing to the mental health crisis, especially among young people.

If you are experiencing emotional problems and would like advice or support, here you will find a list of organizations offering professional help. In a situation of immediate threat to life, call 997 or 112.

“We need to warn parents about what this data shows,” says US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. He calls on Congress to force social media owners to post warnings on their platforms similar to those on alcohol or cigarettes.

– These labels, as can be concluded based on our experience with tobacco products and alcohol, can be useful both in raising awareness and changing behavior – he points out.

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Vivek Murthy has presented his arguments and experts agree with him

In a column for the New York Times, the US Surgeon General explained why he believes warnings are needed on social media platforms. He wrote that we are facing a mental health crisis among young people and social media is a contributing factor.

“Young people who spend more than three hours a day on social media are twice as likely to develop symptoms of anxiety and depression. Moreover, almost half of teenagers say that social media makes them feel worse about their bodies,” Vivek Murthy wrote in a column for the newspaper. .

Murthy adds that lawmakers should protect young people from online sexual violence and sexual content, which he believes is increasingly appearing on algorithm-based channels. – The main goal is to make social media safer. This requires action by Congress and cannot be delayed, he appeals.

Psychologists and psychiatrists echo this idea. – We already know that screen time disrupts sleep. It changes brain chemistry, increases stress hormones, which somehow changes blood flow so that children don't have access to the more developed parts of the brain. All this affects impulse control, attention and mood regulation, explains Victoria L. Dunckley, a child psychiatrist.

This is not the first time the US Surgeon General has spoken on this matter. Last May, he called on Congress to develop health and safety standards for technology platforms. He also recommended that parents introduce limits on the use of phones for children.

There was a conference “Mental health of children and adolescents. Working together, the best solutions” with the participation of, among others, the head of the Ministry of National EducationTVN24

The governor of California does not want to wait for changes at the federal level

Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of California, home to the technology industry, does not want to wait for changes at the federal level. The politician announces the removal of smartphones from schools.

– California's Democratic governor told POLITICO about his plans hours after Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Congress should force tech companies to put warning labels similar to those found on cigarettes and alcohol.

READ ALSO: Ban on using smartphones in schools? Open letter

“The fact that everyone has their own little device that they carry with them from a young age has really been a game changer, if only because anyone can contact our children at any time,” says Erin McNeill of the nonprofit Media Literacy Now.

The scope of the state regulation has yet to be determined, but the California Legislature is expected to take up the matter this summer, most likely before the end of August.

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: CNN

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