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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Mental health concerns grow over social media impact on youth

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023   

Health professionals have raised alarms about social media and its impact on young people's mental health.

Concern has grown so great that earlier this year Seattle Public Schools filed a lawsuit against social media giants like Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube - alleging the companies were creating a "youth mental health crisis."

Dr. Yolanda Evans is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She said social media has positives, like connecting young people with their friends.

However, Evans also noted that the algorithms these platforms use can exacerbate mental health issues for kids.

"My patients have been exposed to things on social media like self harm or imagery that really was disturbing," said Evans, "and it's hard to stop it or block it."

School districts around the country have joined the lawsuit against social media companies.

In May, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory saying social media poses "a risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents."

Evans said parents can play a role in reducing the harms of social media.

"We as adults can also help our kids learn how to be more savvy consumers of things," said Evans, "and teach them what's a reputable source? Why would you trust that content versus other content? What is it that the person's saying or doing that might be false?"

Evans added that the effort to rein in social media's impacts must extend beyond parents.

"All of us need to be involved," said Evans. "The companies for sure need more in terms of regulation and changes with the algorithms and, as adults, also helping kids learn how do we use this for something that can be helpful?"




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