According to a study by The National Institutes of Health, the proportion of young people in the U.S. between the ages of 13 and 17 years who own a smartphone is 89%, more than double the amount just six years ago. Consequently, 70% of teenagers use social media multiple times per day.

Evidence suggests that too much time spent on social media leads to an increase in mental distress, self-injury and suicidality among youth — especially among girls.

Heavy social media use can:

  • Negatively affect adolescents’ self-esteem and interpersonal relationships
  • Decrease social and emotional functioning
  • Increase cyberbullying
  • Normalize and even promote self-harm and suicidality
  • Lead to chronic sleep deprivation
  • Negatively affect academic performance

Things you can do to limit your teen’s time spent on social media:

  • Model good behavior. Set a good example of social media and technology usage. When you are with your child, put down your phone. Establish healthy and productive routines such as dinner without technology.
  • Unplug and get outside. Being outside with your child can enhance your bond with them. Go for a hike in the woods, explore a new park, or go for a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Encourage them to participate in sports or extracurricular activities and offer to drive them to a friend’s house for some real-life face time.
  • Set electronic curfews for the whole family. Enforce bedtimes and do not allow them to have access to technology overnight.
Wyoming Behavioral Institute

If you know a teen who may need treatment for a behavioral health issue, we offer no-cost assessments 24/7. Reach out to us today by calling 800-457-9312 or find more information about our inpatient, residential and outpatient telehealth teen treatment options at

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