Social media may take a toll on teenagers' mental health

Teen Social Media Use Connected To Psychological Issues

New research reveals heavy social media use can take a psychological toll on teenagers.

Researchers from Canada's Ottawa Public Health claim teens who use social media for more than two hours a day are at an increased risk of poor mental health. And if you think that's scary, take into account that a Pew Research Poll found a quarter of all teenagers say they are constantly online.

For the Ottawa study, researchers looked at 750 students between the ages 13 and 18. They found 25 percent of students are on social media more than two hours a day -- they also found those 25 percent were more likely to report having symptoms of depression and anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and overall poor mental health. However, this doesn't mean that people who constantly use social media are going to develop these issues -- it could also mean that people who already have these issues are drawn to being online.

"It could be that teens with mental health problems are seeking out interactions as they are feeling isolated and alone," Dr. Hugues Sampasa-Kayinga, the study's lead author, told The Huffington Post. "Or they would like to satisfy unmet needs for face-to-face mental health support."

Parents, before you start restricting your teen's social media use, the researchers believe the real solution is for social media sites to promote mental health resources on their platforms.
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