“Lawsuit: Social media causes mental illness”

I believe we need to be careful when assigning causation to mental illness. Just because you think something causes it, doesn’t mean it does. However, we cannot rule out that it doesn’t influence an already vulnerable individual. I believe that tech companies have a responsibility to avoid designing platforms that feed posts of people struggling with mental illness to vulnerable or any youth. As mentioned in the article:

The plaintiffs’ case: Social media users who developed eating disorders, anxiety, and depression say the tech giants knew that their algorithms encourage users to view posts that might lead them into mental illness, and that the companies had a duty to warn them of the dangers.

They cite documents released in 2021 by former Facebook Product Manager Frances Haugen that revealed that her onetime employer knew users of Instagram were suffering ill health effects.”

Take a minute and read this article.

Kids are the early adopters of social media platforms, and they determine their popularity. They will see people struggling with mental health on social media. Ask a teenager, and they will tell you. We should have conversations about prevention and healthy emotional health. We should give them tools to seek help if they need it. Let’s arm our kids against all the struggles of the world, both in-person and online.

Let’s protect our kids, who are the early adopters of social media platforms.  ~Ryan