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Yes, it can be entertaining, but endlessly scrolling on social media is also depressing. And the impact on kids, whose brains are still developing, is especially concerning — so much so that the Surgeon General has issued an advisory calling attention to the “urgent public health issue.”
After more than two years of research, Governor Chris Sununu this week signed an executive order calling for a plan to protect New Hampshire’s kids.
The problem: “Research continues to find that the more time spent on social media, the potential for a higher risk of depression, anxiety and psychological distress exists in adolescents,” according to the order.
The proposed solution: Sununu has ordered two state agencies to draft guidelines for a curriculum explaining the negative effects of social media on kids. They have 90 days to submit the guidelines. Once approved, it would be included in K-12 health education classes.
He also instructed state officials to put together a website with resources and a place for parents to share their experiences and concerns. That website would be up and running within 60 days, the order says.
Sununu’s order gives the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the attorney general’s office 30 days to develop plans for a communications and media campaign to “educate granite staters on the harms of social media and the negative impacts of the use of social platforms by children” and hold community forums around the state.
New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella called social media a critical issue.
“There really is a link between extensive use of social media and the mental health crisis we’re seeing among youth, particularly among teenage girls,” he told WMUR.