HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

Gov. Cox warns of social media impact on teen mental health

Oct 17, 2022, 1:40 PM | Updated: 1:42 pm

HOLLADAY, Utah — Gov. Spencer Cox spoke with parents, teachers, and community leaders in Holladay Monday about the negative impact social media has had on the mental health of teens.

Cox mentioned how every generation has its “thing” that may impact kids in a negative way. Right now, that “thing”, he said is social media.

He said it is very different than other media sources we’ve seen in the past. As a result, it’s changing how adults and Utah youth think.

“I believe we’re wired for connection,” Cox said.

He pointed to national social media research that drives home how social media is changing the way kids think as it is an active, not passive, media platform.

As a result, he said social media is largely negatively impacting teen mental health, social and emotional connections as well as how youth view themselves. 

It’s not just a kid’s problem either.

He called on adults, families, and leaders to step up and take action.

He said we as a state can do so by monitoring our family’s social media usage, taking cell phones out of the classroom, and pushing lawmakers to set up laws with boundaries for families to decide when social media should come into play as families often know better than big tech what is good for them.

“Kids and adults are turning to social media for our connections. We don’t spend as much time with our families and churches and schools and community groups. We’ve become starved for this in-person connection”, Cox said.

Just like seatbelt laws and tobacco laws made a push to the forefront, Gov. Cox said they’re working and looking into potential legislation for social media usage among youth. For now, it starts with families. 

 

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Gov. Cox warns of social media impact on teen mental health