Experts want tobacco-like warning labels for social media

Dr. Yann Poncin, a child psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine, encourages parents to have active conversations with their children about social media use and check the parental controls available on social media apps.

Angelica Toruno

Jun 19, 2024, 9:03 PM

Updated 32 days ago

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The U.S. surgeon general is suggesting social media warning labels, similar to the ones found on cigarette boxes.
“This warning label is part of a broader strategy to try to address the harms that we are seeing associated with social media for our kids,” said U.S Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.
Dr. Yann Poncin, a child psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine, believes if these warning labels do roll out it’ll have more of an impact on parents.
“The child, I don’t think they’d be affected at all. I think it’s more about the parent being reminded that these things really aren’t good,” Poncin said. “It’s really, really bad if there’s a warning label on here, and maybe I can hold off a little bit longer.”
Certain cities like Los Angeles have already implemented "phone-free zones" at school, but Dr. Poncin says parents can also monitor this at home.
“Start to think that this is doable and as a target, start to think carefully about giving free, unlimited internet social media access, phone in their room before 16,” said Poncin.
The surgeon general says the warning labels wouldn’t make social media safe, but it would be an added layer.
“That actions are going to have to come from Congress, and that action cannot come soon enough,” said Murthy.
Dr. Ponin also encourages parents to have active conversations with their children about social media use and check the parental controls available on social media apps.


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