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Social Media May Harm Young People
By: Jessica Cherok
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Social media may affect your well-being, especially if you are young.

The City of Ottawa's Public Health Department conducted a study showing that near-constant social media use results in poorer mental health. According to the report:
Results clearly show that youth who report use of [social networking sites] for more than 2 hours per day have also reported poor self-rated mental health, psychological distress, suicidal ideation, or unmet need for mental health support. These results corroborate previous findings indicating an association between time spent using [social networking sites] and depression in high school students.
Because of the impact of social sites on teens and young people, the study suggests that schools and teachers receive training related to assistance and outreach for teens suffering from distress who may be showing cries for help on social media. The research points out that many young people turn to social media to find support they may not otherwise have access to in their lives.

While limiting time spent on social media may help in some areas, cutting it out altogether may be detrimental to those without other avenues for support. As social media becomes more ingrained in our everyday lives, a balance between healthy online activity and harmful amounts needs to be found.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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