Surgeon General says social media is bad for young teens' health

Originally published at: Surgeon General says social media is bad for young teens' health | Boing Boing


We adults probably shouldn’t be on it either TBH.



“I, personally, based on the data I’ve seen, believe that 13 is too early to start drinking”


It certainly wasn’t a bunch of 13-year-olds who were radicalized into storming the Capitol building because they heard that a secret cabal of Jewish Reptilian Satanist child molesters were using the Covid-19 plandemic mask mandate to steal the election.


At the risk of being the annoying, virtue-signalling, “oh I don’t have a TV” person in this thread— Early last year, I dropped all social media out of my life. I honestly think I am happier for it. My attention span has improved, I’m able to read books again, and I’m no longer stressed out all the time by shit that doesn’t matter and/or I can’t control.

I had to go back and create one burner Facebook account because local businesses and clubs around here rely on it for posting up to date info, but otherwise I don’t miss it one bit.




I have bad news: "social media: noun: social media; plural noun: social medias

  1. websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking."

I’m afraid by the dictionary definition, Boing Boing is social media, especially the comments section. But I feel you, I dropped LJ and FB, and never bothered with a twit account; there’s a difference between unmoderated, undirected completely freeform chaos that is the mainstream social media platfrom hell, and a place like this.

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I’m glad my kid is off of it. She just has apps to communicate with her social groups. She goes to an online school, so is used to that mode of communication.

She also has local friends from plays and acting classes she keeps in touch with.

While technically true, I think there is a huge difference between a forum -which is essentially a relatively small group of people conversing on limited subjects, and other platforms where any idiot can spout off about anything with only the most egregious statements having repercussions.

Facebook CAN be similar to a forum, it depends on how you use it.

Twitter is a god damn cesspool.

Other sites vary…


Jennifer Lawrence Reaction GIF


This is really difficult for me. My 15 y.o. kiddo is similar. He’s on a few discord channels with friends and for school. It is essential for him socially and academically. He (thankfully) has no desire to get on to tiktok or whatever the young’uns are on these days. I’m sure he could get on a more toxic discord channel which would be as bad (or worse) than the mainstream social media sites (and I’m often worried about this). It seems clear to me that it’s not exactly “Social Media is bad for kids”, but rather a few specific sites, the way they encourage engagement (usually algorithmically), and the culture around them that is problematic. There are plenty of non-social media sites that encourage problematic behaviour if used in the way the owners want you to (youtube!).


First of all Discord is still a place where a teen can get in trouble. A couple of years ago three middle schoolers in my town made national and international headlines because they were planning a school shooting over Discord. It’s easier to cover the tracks of what somebody is doing and saying on there compared to places like Twitter and Facebook where everything is centralized on a few common servers.

Maybe i’m somewhat skeptical about these sort of claims about social media because of my age remembering how Joe Lieberman managed to scare old people and pta groups about Night Trap using bullshit claims about the game. Most of the issues on these sites are actually very old problems (hate, vanity, greed, body image issues, obsession with celebrity etc etc) but now overall it’s harder to hide humanity’s ugly side because of a few algorithms. I can easily remember how petty people where before MySpace and I don’t want to go back to those days when that stuff was buried under rumor, gossip, “kids will be kids” and “boys will be boys” because of “ignorance is bliss”.


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