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21 February 2018

United Kingdom: MPs Set to Investigate the Harmful Effects of Excessive Use of Smartphones and Social Media Amid Fears for Children's Mental Health

Experts fear that social media may be conditioning kids to
become dependant on 'Likes'.
MPs set to investigate the harmful effects of excessive use of smartphones and social media amid fears for children’s mental health

By Lynn Davidson, Whitehall Correspondent,
thesun.co.uk, 21 February 2018

MPs are probing the possibility that excessive smartphone and social media use may be harmful to kids, conditioning them to depend on likes and attention online

A PROBE on excessive use of smart phones and social media is launched by MPs today amid fears of youngsters’ wellbeing.

It follows reports 95 per cent of 15 year olds use social media sites before or after school.
Half of nine to 16-year-olds used smart-phones daily.

A damning report from the Children’s Commissioner for England last month found social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Musical.ly and Whatsapp are “still not doing enough” to stop younger kids under 13 from using them.

It warned social media was exposing kids to “significant emotional” risks with 12 year olds now dependent on social media “likes” for status.

Anne Longfield’s report found a staggering three in four children aged between 10 and 12 have their own social media accounts - despite the minimum age limit of 13.

The “Life in Likes” study said it “was time” social media companies recognised the effects on under 13s and must introduce greater moderation of their sites.

Science and Technology Committee chair Norman Lamb MP said it was vital to understand the impact of screen use and social media on children and young people.

He said: “We want to determine the scale of the issues - separating out the understandable concerns from the hard evidence, and to identify what practical measures people are already taking to boost the benefits and blunt the potential harms.

“We want to hear from schools and young people, as well as from the industry and Government.”


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