Social media addiction increases the risk of ADHD

Nonstop notifications from social media websited cause young people to have problems to concentrate for long periods of time, researchers said.

“More frequent use of digital media may be associated with development of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms,” said Professor of Preventative Medicine, Adam Leventhal of University of Southern California, in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

Further research is needed to see whether the association is caused by social media alone but scientists suggested that the distraction and instant gratification  could aggravate the disorder.

The scientists asked 2,800 15 and 16-year-olds at 10 different schools in Los Angeles County to fill out surveys about ADHD symptoms and their social media use.

The ADHD survey asked students to evaluate whether they related to statements like “I’m easily distracted” or “I don’t listen when spoken to directly.”

The students also filled out a questionnaire ranking how often they used 14 different types of digital media, including social media sites, online games and streaming films. Students who already had ADHD symptoms were eliminated from the study. The remaining 2,600 students retook the same surveys several times over the next two years.The 495 teens who reported infrequent use of digital media had a 4.6 per cent chance of reporting ADHD symptoms. That figure almost doubled to 9.5 per cent for the 114 students who reported using seven of the 14 digital media platforms frequently.

 

Child campaigners ask Zuckerberg to Stop Messenger Kids

An open letter and petition led by  the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) and MomsRising – urged Zuckerberg to use his “enormous reach and influence to promote children’s wellbeing” and scrap Messenger Kids.

“Please do not target kids. Research shows that excessive social media use is already harming adolescents and teens.Younger children are even less equipped to deal with the interpersonal challenges and addictive power of social media” the letter says  “Kids need time and space to experience the physical world and develop healthy face-to-face relationships.”

Among the 21,000 signatories are educators, health professionals, parents and caregivers. The campaign says that these are “people who see the impacts of technology and social media on children every day” and that they are “distressed about the impacts of technology and social media on the wellbeing of children and families”.

CALL FOR ACTION

A coalition of eight progressive advocacy groups launched a digital ad campaign on Monday calling on the Federal Trade Commission to break up Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp into separate and competing companies.

The “Freedom from Facebook” campaign will run ads with messages like “Facebook keeps violating your privacy. Break it up.” on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The coalition is also collecting signatures for a petition to the Federal Trade Commission asking it to split up Facebook, ensure that users on different social media platforms can communicate with each other, and enact stronger privacy regulations.

The coalition has released a step-by-step guide instructing users on how to “block Facebook from profiting from all the information it collects about you, your family, and your friends.”