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Social media may harm teenagers' mental health by increasing exposure to bullying, reducing sleep

Posted: 9:06 AM, Aug 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-14 12:29:13-04

A new study suggests that social media use may harm teenagers' mental health by increasing exposure to bullying and reducing sleep and exercise time.

Scientists conducted multiple interviews with almost 10,000 teenagers in England between the ages of 13 and 16. The teens reported the frequency with which they checked or used social media; more than three times daily was considered very frequent.

The researchers found that in both sexes very frequent social media use was associated with greater psychological distress.

The major problem was that "frequent" social media use exposed young people to more harmful content. It also can get in the way of activities that have a positive impact on mental health, like sleeping and exercising.