Statement on Surgeon General Saying 13 is Too Young for Social Media

Common Sense Media
Monday, January 30, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 30, 2023— James P. Steyer, Common Sense Media's Founder and CEO, issued the following statement after US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms.

"It is a huge deal for the leading physician in the U.S. to come out and say that age 13 is generally too early for young people to be using social media and highlighting some of the potential harms to their physical and mental well-being. This is exactly the kind of leadership we need from our Federal government when it comes to educating the public about technology's impact on society and holding large tech companies accountable for the impact of their platforms on the social, emotional and cognitive development of our nation's youth.

"A number of these platforms are competing in what is essentially an arms race for our attention, particularly our children's. Their core business model is designed to gather personal data and serve up targeted ads – a model that can lend itself to addiction, distraction, anxiety and depression amongst our youth. It is clear at this point that tech companies themselves are fundamentally incapable of self-regulation, which is why the Surgeon General's statement and bold leadership is so important.

"It is time to face the facts: we are facing a youth mental health crisis and we need to address it immediately. We applaud the Surgeon General for his leadership and for bringing much-needed urgency to this critical area of protecting the well-being of kids and teens."


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