Social media and mental health: Triangle psychologists urge parents to limit children’s time on social media

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) – Local psychologists are encouraging parents to set limits on how often their children can scroll through social media.

“If you allow the use of social media, it is important to set limits on that use,” said Dr Anthony Smith, registered psychologist and director of the Alase Center for Enrichment in Durham. “I recommend to my parents when I talk to them, if they want to do it (social networks) during the week, one hour of screen time at most. A few hours on weekends. There are other things than we should get involved. “

Dr. Smith suggests activities like sports, exercise, and the creative arts to stimulate the mind.

Antonio Brown from Durham told me how he limits his son’s screen time.

“My 7-year-old doesn’t have a social media account,” Brown said.

Brown says he allows his son to watch YouTube and the occasional TikTok video with restrictions.

“Monday through Friday he doesn’t have access to tablets or technology unless it’s for school,” Brown said.
Triangle psychologists say these are exactly the kind of limits parents should consider.

On Tuesday, a Facebook whistleblower testified on Capitol Hill, denouncing the social media sharing giant, saying it knowingly manipulates content harmful to young users.

State Attorney General Josh Stein echoed these concerns, along with 52 other AGs.

“We are learning more about how Facebook and other social media platforms are harmful to our children – including worsening mental health issues and leading to depression, bullying and disorder. diet – but we still don’t know enough, ”Stein said.

Dr Samantha Pflum is a Clinical Child Psychologist at UNC.

She says it’s important for young people to be aware of how they feel when they use social media, and then to stand up for themselves and use it in a way that makes them feel comfortable and safe. .
“There can be so much pressure to present this perfect or specific image of themselves to others and they often fear missing out on these social and cultural references that I should be aware of,” said Dr Pflum. “Will I be missing out on social interaction with my friends if I cut down on the time I spend on social media so that they often feel torn or stuck in which direction should I go?” “

Psychologists say warning signs parents should watch out for include:

  • Insulation
  • Lose focus
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Thoughts of suicide and hurting others

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