Last week, Seattle’s public school system filed a lawsuit against several Big Tech companies, alleging their social media platforms have a negative impact on students’ mental health and claiming that has impeded the ability of its schools “to fulfill its educational mission.” The district, which is the largest in the state of Washington, filed the lawsuit against Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube, asserting the companies have exploited the minds of our youth.
With the youth mental health crisis a major topic of conversation — with good reason — there’s a true need to address the issue and take action. It’s no surprise that many believe social media platforms play a large role in the high numbers of youth experiencing depression, anxiety, thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation. How youth engage with social media can directly affect their well-being, and the Big Tech companies are being forced to respond to calls for safer age-appropriate experiences, better supervision tools, and more.
Prioritizing the mental health of our youth is more important than ever before and addressing the burden of mental health struggles caused by too much time spent on social media platforms could be a step in the right direction to reverse this dangerous trend.