Read at gizmodo.com
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has declared social media as a public health risk, comparing it to guns and tobacco. However, the science behind the mental health risks of social media is not well supported. In his speech, Adams mentioned platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook, accusing them of fueling a mental health crisis with their addictive and dangerous features. NYC has seen significant increases in rates of hopelessness and suicidal ideation among high schoolers, and these issues disproportionately affect marginalized groups.
"Platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook are fueling a mental health crisis by designing their platforms with addictive and dangerous features."
New York City has taken the lead in officially classifying social media as a public health risk, but the evidence supporting this claim is not conclusive. While there have been concerns raised about the impact of social media on mental health, the science behind these concerns is still unclear. Despite this, rates of mental health problems among high schoolers in NYC have been on the rise, with significant increases in hopelessness and suicidal ideation. These issues are particularly prevalent among marginalized groups such as Black, Latino, female, and LGBTQ+ youth.
"Rates of NYC high schoolers experiencing hopelessness increased by over 42% between 2011 and 2021, and rates of suicidal ideation increased by more than 34%."