LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — A new advisory released by the U.S. Surgeon General shows the mental health impacts of social media on teenagers.

Stating that quote “adolescents who spent more than three hours per day on social media faced double the risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes.”

The report found that 95% of teens between the age of 13 and 17 said they use social media. With some claiming they are on their devices constantly.

FOX 56 Chief Medical Contributor Doctor Ryan Stanton said parents need to limit screen time as much as possible.

“We know that the more a child is exposed to social media and screen time the more they have anxiety and depression,” Stanton said.

This is the latest warning after CDC data shows a sharp increase in teen depression, especially in girls where 57% of teenage girls reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless. 

“Just a simple fact, the device a screen of any type is not a babysitter, it is not a good parent. Parents need to parent, and adults need to adult,” Stanton said.

Experts agree while the internet can be a good thing it continues to present challenges.


“With my family, my wife monitors very closely not only what my children are on, what sites they’re on what they’re seeing, and there’s a lot of apps and resources out there that parents can use to help with that. But most importantly pushing off social media as late as possible, especially with that young developing brain,” Stanton said.

The advisory concludes that policymakers and technology companies should look at and enforce age restrictions and pursue policies that further limit children’s access to social media.