Study: Social media may harm teenage girls' mental health

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A new study finds that social media may harm teenage girls' mental health by increasing their exposure to cyberbullying and reducing their sleep and physical exercise.

According to the study, the effect was especially clear among girls - the more often they checked social media, the greater their psychological distress.

Caroline Aruanno, an 18-year-old from Huntington, says her friends are hooked to social media. Aruanno says she stopped using Instagram a few years ago and doesn't miss it.

"They're always sending me pictures, 'Which one should I post, or oh make sure you go like and comment,'" she says.

Claudia Melendez, an 18-year-old from Denver, says she can see how spending too much time on social media can hurt one's self esteem.

The authors of the study say it's important to keep a balance, so that social media does not displace other activities that are important for mental health.

The authors of the study say parents should limit their children's time on social media, especially before they go to bed. They also say parents should find ways to reinforce positive habits, like getting enough sleep and exercise, rather than declaring social media be off limits.

 

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