US Surgeon General Recommends Warning Label for Social Media 

Over the last several decades with the rise of the internet, the smartphone, and of course social media the way that people socialize has changed drastically. Today, people across the world can communicate at such a quick rate that it is truly apparent that the world is more interconnected, and communication is easier than ever before. But while people may talk to strangers thousands of miles away with the click of a button, the effects of technology have not all been good. While people can talk easier, individual communities themselves and the social fabrics and cohesion that have long defined them have diminished significantly. Indeed, ordinary social interactions like conversing on the street with community members or making small talk in a coffee shop or deli have diminished significantly in many areas of the country. Neighborhoods are less connected than ever before, and in many regions of America, the fabric of social well-being that bound communities together and created sentiments of interconnectedness has declined. This is evident in the nation’s politics. A recent report from Pew Research Center outlines these divisions in detail.

Back to socialization- one of the common ways in which people now communicate in this digital and technologically dominant time is through the internet and social media. Truly, most people in America are addicted to their phones and screens, and many generally do not even realize it. People that have been most at risk are teenagers and young people who have grown up with technology and social media prevalent in the mainstream and easily accessible to them from extremely young ages. A mental health crisis has existed amongst America’s youth for some time, and it has only gotten worse as of late. A KFF article reported that 55% of Americans see the issue as a real problem. 

The U.S. Surgeon General recently recommended that a “warning label” be attached to social media outlets outlining negative health effects.