Surgeon General’s Advisory on Social Media Impact: A New Focus for Psychiatry Technology Innovation


Social media usage has been a topic of debate in the mental health community for years. With the rise of social media platforms over the past decade, mental health professionals have struggled to keep up with the effects of social media on their clients. The issue has become complex and multifaceted, with conflicting opinions from experts, parents, and even teenagers themselves. Recently, The Surgeon General’s new advisory report, issued on May 23, 2023, provides evidence that social media use has a significant impact on youth mental health, which is a call to action for Psychiatrists and the technology industry.


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The Surgeon General’s Findings


The Surgeon General’s report highlights the harmful effects of social media on youth mental health. The report revealed that children who spent more than two hours daily on social media are at a higher risk of developing depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. The report also suggests that social media can lead to self-harm, with teenagers showing an increase in self-harm behaviors like cutting after being exposed to graphic images. The report further found that cyberbullying on social media can negatively affect a child’s emotional and behavioral health.


How psychiatry technology can improve social media’s impact on mental health


Psychiatry technology has the potential to improve the negative effects of social media on mental health. With the growing recognition of social media’s impact on mental health, tech innovators have a unique opportunity to develop meaningful solutions that can address the problem head-on


Here are some examples of how technology can address social media’s effect on mental health:


    • Creating digital screening tools for depression and anxiety disorders associated with social media use.


    • Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor posts and flag content that falls below community guidelines.


    • Using machine learning to identify and provide support to users who appear to be struggling with mental health issues and self-harm.


    • Developing chatbots to engage with users who may be going through a hard time and provide them with resources and support.


    • Collaborating with social media companies to designate mental health professionals to work alongside moderators to review flagged content.



Technology solutions like these can help psychiatrists, parents, and young people better understand the impact of social media on mental health. Tech innovators and psychiatrists can come together with a common goal to mitigate the harm caused by social media use on young people’s mental health. As the world turns to technology for answers, the tech industry has a moral obligation to develop solutions that place users’ well-being at the forefront.




The Surgeon General’s report reaffirms the need for psychiatry technology innovation to address social media’s effect on youth mental health. The tech industry has an excellent opportunity to create innovative solutions that will protect the mental health of young people while allowing them to use social media in a safe and healthy way. By working together, mental health professionals and tech innovators can pave the way for a brighter future for young people growing up in a digital world.


Do you think technology can help mitigate the negative impact of social media on mental health? Let us know by sharing this post with your friends on social media. Together, we can raise awareness of the issue and advocate for meaningful solutions to protect young people’s mental health.


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