Teenagers love to spend their time on social media sites, but it can lead to poor mental health, high psychological distress, suicidal thoughts and an unmet need for mental health support, claims a new study.
The findings, which caution teenagers who use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram for more than two hours every day, send an important message to parents and suggest an opportunity to increase mental health support service offerings on these sites. Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga, MD and Rosamund Lewis, MD, Ottawa Public Health (Ottawa, Canada) analyzed data on students in grades 7-12 from the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey.
About 25 percent of students reported using social networking sites for more than 2 hours daily. Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold said that since teens are on the sites, it was the perfect place for public health and service providers to reach out and connect with the vulnerable population and provide health promotion systems and supports.
The study is published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking