Protecting your child’s mental health on social media

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The fall-out from social media toxic messaging continues. As reported this past fall, Facebook, now Meta, was aware that Instagram was harmful to young people. Mental health and body image disorders are both linked to social media.

ow parents are picking up the pieces and trying to figure what to do next. Ivanhoe introduces us to one mother and her daughter whose severe anorexia was triggered by these apps.

Tik Tok challenges drive teens to feel not picture perfect. One of those teens was Mariam Fawzi. It became a huge trigger for Mariam.

“Like the face symmetry challenge or the jawline challenge,” said Fawzi.

It triggered her battle with anorexia. At its lowest, Fawzi’s weight plunged to seventy-four pounds, and her heart stopped beating twice.

“When she was admitted, she was very, very sick. She was literally on death’s door,” said Neveen Radwan, Fawzi’s mother.

She is one of the countless teens who have been affected by toxic images on social media.

“They’re engaging in content when it’s toxic that’s telling them they’re not enough,” said clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D.

“I don’t believe that eating disorders are caused by social media, but they’re absolutely triggered by them,” said Radwan.

Radwan, like other parents, is now figuring out what to do about her child using social media. dr Manly says the key is communication.

“Stay really attentive to how much time your child is spending on social media,” she said. “Have very clear limits. And pay attention to unusual mood fluctuations.”

For now, Radwan is playing it safe and keeping her daughter away from social media.

“Toxic Tik Tok trends shouldn’t define who you are,” said Radwan.

Massachusetts’ attorney general is now leading a bi-partisan nationwide investigation of Instagram’s impact on young people. It’s examining whether the platform violated state consumer protection laws and put the public at risk. Other states taking part include Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey and Vermont.

Many parents, such as Neveen Radwan, don’t believe Meta platforms will do the right thing, on their own.

Contributors to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Producer; Roque Correa, editor; and Joe Alexander, Videographer.

Copyright 2022 WMC. All rights reserved.

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