It’s no secret that social media can damage the mental health of children and teens – and that school closures and social isolation due to the pandemic deepened this danger. According to 60 Minutes, over twelve hundred families are currently suing social media companies used by their children. In 2023, over 150 of those lawsuits will go forward. Among the social media companies being sued are “TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Roblox and Meta, the parent company to Instagram and Facebook.” These lawsuits all allege that social media can harm children’s mental health.
How Social Media Can Harm Children’s Mental Health
One family on the 60 Minutes segment asserts that their twelve-year-old daughter developed depression and an eating disorder due to her Instagram use. Another case concerns a fourteen-year-old girl who died of suicide in 2020. After her death, her parents discovered that she received a video on Instagram that essentially provided instructions for hanging one’s self. The video was still in circulation on the app a year and a half after their child’s tragic death.
LearnSafe Protects Children’s Mental Health
While schools can’t prevent students from using social media entirely, they can protect students’ mental health. Screen monitoring software like LearnSafe can detect mentions of depression, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and disordered eating. In one case, LearnSafe’s Digital Safety Representatives saw a student expressing intentions of self-harm. They immediately notified the school safety team, who quickly gave this student the help they needed. Also, LearnSafe provides tele-health services to help schools help students who may be suffering. LearnSafe helps schools protect their students’ mental health – and it can save lives.