HEALTH

Gov. Cox speaks on social media, declining mental and emotional health of students

Oct 17, 2022, 11:31 AM | Updated: Oct 18, 2022, 11:01 am
Gov. Cox at Bonneville Jr. High discussing social media. Photo: screen grab from Gov. Cox livestrea...
Gov. Cox at Bonneville Jr. High discussing social media. Photo: screen grab from Gov. Cox livestream

SALT LAKE CITY — On Monday, Gov. Spencer Cox went live on social media to address the negative effects of social media. The Utah native called on parents and teachers to discuss how it harms children’s mental health. 

Cox feels as though social connections and emotional well-beings of students are on the decline because of social media. 

Live from Bonneville Jr. High, Cox claims most of his worries are with social medias impacts on girls and young women.

Cox showed studies and data of loneliness among students. In 2011, when social media became prominent, loneliness spiked. 

“We are wired for connection,” said Cox. Because of the lack of connection, mental health is taking a beating as social media has limits to reaching deep connections. 

Cox offered different studies on students mental health not just within the U.S. but in Latin American and Australia. In 2010, mental health took a rapid decline among teens which had to be a result of a lifestyle change, in this case, the introduction of social media. 

Solutions

Cox suggested areas to improve, calling them, “common sense solutions”. 

Starting with getting cellphones out of classrooms, Cox believes just turning them off is not enough and students still have the urge to check them. 

Secondly, Cox believes holding social media companies accountable will allow parents to set boundaries for their children. Although it is congress work, parents know better for their children than big tech companies do.

With this parents need to set an example for their kids. This includes limiting their own social media use, at least around their impressionable children. 

Finally, Cox said, “Talk about it, open the conversation, ask them how they use it and how they feel.” Children will feel more comfortable talking about its negative affects if they are pre-exposed to the conversation of social media in general. 

“Its something severe and something we have not tackled enough as a nation,” 

 

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