Digital Smarts - Social Media and Depression Connection Found

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Teen girls and boys who used social media more than five hours daily had higher depressive symptoms compared with peers who had one to three hours of daily social media use. The finding indicates a stronger link between social media use and depression in girls over boys (50% and 35% respectively), United Kingdom researchers reported in the journal EClinicalMedicine.

So what can parents do? Experts say one tip is to set up a charging station somewhere in the house instead of charging phones in the bedroom which can lead to distractions and sleep interruptions. Don’t fall for the line that teens need to use their phone as an alarm - get them an actual standalone alarm clock instead. This will help to limit nighttime usage. As one expert put it, "It's a balance, because there are benefits to engagement with media. There are so many ways in which social media is important and has positive features, but there's also ways in which social media can replace social support and connection from people you are living with in person. So it's finding that sweet spot."