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Learn about the impact of tech on young people

On average in the US, 8-12 year-olds are on-screen for 5 1⁄2 hours every single day; the hours grow to an average of 8 1⁄2 hours daily for 13-18 year-olds. While 84% of US teens use social media and 75% of young people report having at least one active social media profile, only 34% say they enjoy social media. Yet, more than half of teens (54%) say they would have a hard time giving it up.

As usage and engagement numbers grow worldwide, we have learned much more about tech’s impact on youth. First the good news.

Tech plays a key role in society in connecting individuals and providing a space for young people to grow and learn. In an in-depth study by Pew Research Center from 2022, 80% said it made them feel more connected to what is going on in their friends’ lives and 67% said social media allowed them to connect with people who can support them through tough times. Further Black and Hispanic teens were more likely than their White counterparts to report feeling “a lot” more supported and socially accepted thanks to social media use. A 2021 survey of US teens found that social media is even more important to LGBTQ+ youth than for others their age for finding inspiration, support, and advice, and for expressing themselves creatively.

Yet, Safe Tech, Safe Kids exists because addressing the harms is urgent.

In May 2023, the US Surgeon General issued a stark health advisory that underscores the perils of social media on the mental well-being of children and adolescents. While conceding the need for further research to fully understand its influence, the Surgeon General left no room for ambiguity: urgent action is needed to protect our youth.

Sometimes, a child’s or teen’s desire for connection, belonging, or information to help make sense of life can expose them to harmful content, harassment, or feelings of depression or anxiety.

Research on impacts

  • Body shaming

  • Cyberbullying & harassment

  • Hateful content

  • Excessive use

  • Algorithmic biases

  • Rewiring the brain

  • Constant Notifications

  • Sleep Interruption

If there are any studies and research you want to highlight with Safe Tech, Safe Kids, contact us.