Wednesday, February 21, 2024

New York has declared social networks a ‘threat to the mental health’ of minors

New York City on Wednesday declared social networks in general “threats to the mental health” of minors, said Mayor Eric Adams, citing a report from the Department of Mental Health in the town.

Adams compared the impact of social media on youth to tobacco and guns in the past, “and that’s the only way we should treat social media: as another health threat that needs to be stopped. We must ensure that technology companies take responsibility for their products,” said the mayor in his state of the city address.

It is not clear what this name will mean or what tools the Mayor’s Office will have to act against social networks, now in the hands of the most powerful companies in the country such as major technology companies.

Adams recalls that the internet world presents many dangers for students, and that “companies like TikTok, YouTube and Facebook spread a mental crisis by designing their platforms with addictive characteristics.”

New York Has Declared Social Networks A 'Threat To The Mental Health' Of Minors

“We cannot stand by and allow big technology companies to monetize our children’s privacy,” the mayor stressed, boasting that New York was the first American city to take this step.

The Mental Health report relied on by Adams says that 77% of secondary school students spend three hours or more a day in front of a screen during their leisure time, and even if it’s not traces a direct cause, recalling that in 2021 a study. showed that 38% of high school students had feelings of hopelessness that led them to stop their usual activities.

Between 2011 and 2021, the number of teenagers who reported feeling “hopeless” increased by 42%, while those showing suicidal tendencies grew by 38%.

A previous study by the department in June of this year surveyed 150 participants who said that social media undermined their self-esteem, social relationships and ability to manage their time effectively.

The report includes advice for teachers, educators and parents that include, for example, calls not to give cell phones to children up to the age of 14, disable social networks from the first cell phones and limit the use of telephones during free hours.

World Nation News Desk
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