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teens and social media

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There's a strong correlation between social media use and depression in teenage girls.

Warning: The following story contains themes of suicide.

It’s been 15 years since the iPhone was released, and in that time we have seen a proliferation of social media apps that have fundamentally changed how people interact.

Massive societal changes have happened as a result, with little thought given to how they could change us as a species. But now, an emerging trend reveals the technological revolution hasn’t been benign. Studies show that overexposure to social media can have a negative effect on the mental health of teen girls.

Studies demonstrate that since 2012, as exposure to social media has increased, the life satisfaction and mental health of teen girls have decreased.

A study from BYU that tracked teens' social media use from 2009 to 2019 found that while social media had little effect on boys’ suicidality risk, for girls there was a tipping point. Girls who used social media for at least two to three hours a day starting at around 13 and greatly increased their use over time were at “a higher clinical risk for suicide as emerging adults.”

“Something about that specific social media use pattern is particularly harmful for young girls,” said BYU professor Sarah Coyne, the lead author of the study.

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