A new research shows that spending over two hours every day on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram can put kids at risk for developing high psychological distress, poor mental health and suicidal thoughts.
Researchers Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga and Rosamund Lewis from Ottawa Public Health in Canada said that the findings of the study send an important message to all the parents out there and also suggest an opportunity to increase mental health support service offerings on the mentioned social networking websites.
The researchers compared time that kids spent on social networking sites to their self-reports of psychological well-being as well as unmet needs for mental health support.
The data analysed was of students in grades seven-12 from the “Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey”. Close to 25 percent of students had reported to have used social networking sites for over two hours every day.
Brenda K. Wiederhold from the Interactive Media Institute in San Diego, California, said that this usage of social networking sites can be seen as a problem for some, but a solution for some. She added that considering that teenagers use the sites, it can actually be the perfect place for public health and service providers to reach out as well as connect with vulnerable population and offer health promotion systems and supports.
The paper has appeared in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.
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