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Social media’s a disaster for teens, yet surgeon general only whispers worry

Glory be: A Biden apparatchik (sort of) told the truth

“I’m very concerned that social media has become an important contributor to the pain and the struggles that many of our young people are facing,” said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy of his agency’s new advisory on social media use among kids.

Hel-lo: The facts merit far more than mewling about “concern.”

More than a third of 13- to17-year-olds say they use social media “almost constantly,” per Murthy’s own advisory.

And it starts earlier, with 40% of children ages 8 to 12 on social media to at least a significant degree. 

Per the latest Centers for Disease Control assessment of adolescent mental health, 42% of teens experience persistent sadness or hopelessness; 22% have seriously considered suicide.

For girls alone, it’s 30% sad or hopeless, 29% contemplating suicide.

And the bulk of reputable studies now show a correlation between social media use and mental-health issues

That’s as the bulk of reputable studies now show a correlation between social media use and mental-health issues

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy

Yet Murthy’s advisory only claims, limply: “At this time, we do not yet have enough evidence to determine if social media is sufficiently safe for children and adolescents.”

We do have enough evidence. It’s not safe

Indeed, any parent knows intuitively that social media is bad news for developing minds. 

Hop on TikTok, no matter your age, and get bombarded with sex, drugs and violence. (Same for other sites.) 

So why Murthy’s hesitance?

Remember, the man’s a screeching COVID hysteric: always at the ready to promote utterly useless interventions with zero scientific support.

Yet here, facing clear facts, he somehow can’t thunder out a warning.

Nor (he’s a Biden official, after all) resist adding a dose of woke insanity.  

At one point, his advisory calls for parents to create “tech free” zones; at another, it insists that for LGBTQ youth, social media is actually good. 


In the CDC’s most recent survey, close to 70% of LGBTQ students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness; almost 25% attempted suicide.

Trans kids and additional activists march to the U.S. Supreme Court following the end of the "Trans Youth Prom" on May 22, 2023.
Getty Images

If anything, these kids need protection more than their straight peers.

Social media isn’t going anywhere, for good or ill. 

But letting kids have unfettered access to it is dangerous and deeply wrong, and Murthy should say so without weaseling. 

This shouldn’t be controversial; indeed it wouldn’t — no parent anywhere would disagree. 

Too bad Murthy lacks even the modicum of courage necessary to say as much.