Social media and artificial intelligence are embedded in kids’ lives as they use technology for everything from education to socializing
Today’s social media platforms are causing significant harm to children and youth. Social media affects attention spans, self-image, and social skills which is leading to increased cyberbullying and depression.
62% of 12 to 18-year-olds use social media daily 1
Kids and teens spend an average of 91 minutes on TikTok per day 2
54% of teens say it would be hard to give up social media 3
Social media use has skyrocketed but exposure to unrestrained levels of digital technology can have serious long-term consequences for children’s development, creating permanent changes in brain structure that impact how children will think, feel, and act throughout their lives.
Time spent on social media is a significant predictor of depression for adolescents 4
More screen time is associated with mental health and behavioral problems, poor academic performance, and worse sleep 5
Higher screen time is correlated with developmental delays in language, problem-solving, and social interaction 6
Despite the known harms of excessive social media use for youth, tech platforms are still incentivized to maximize attention. Platforms use addictive design, targeted content, and AI-powered feeds to hijack attention and increase time on platforms. Kids also learn that in order to be heard online, they must compete for attention via likes, comments, and performative behavior.
This race for attention creates a downward spiral of real-world harm that jeopardizes the overall safety and well-being of future generations.
Children who have been cyberbullied are 3x more likely to contemplate suicide 7
Nearly 1 in 5 British children aspire to be a social media influencer, above teacher and veterinarian 8
Twice as many teens encountered racist hate speech online in the last 2 years 9