Surgeon general will keep his kids off social media until high school

June 18, 2024

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Monday that he will wait until his kids reach high school to let them use social media.

“I am planning to wait until at least after middle school, for my kids to use social media,” Murthy said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.” “And when they’re in high school, my wife and I will reassess then, based on their maturity, what the data says about safety and whether there are safety standards in place.”

Murthy also advocated for a surgeon general’s warning label on social media products “stating that social media is associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents,” in a Monday opinion piece for The New York Times.

“A surgeon general’s warning label, which requires congressional action, would regularly remind parents and adolescents that social media has not been proved safe,” Murthy said in the Times piece.

In the CNN interview, Murthy called the warning label “part of a broader strategy to help address the harms that we are seeing associated with social media for our kids.”

“And last year, I issued an advisory on social media and youth mental health, where I called for a series of measures that Congress can put in place, to actually establish safety standards and require data transparency to make social media safer,” Murthy continued. “Until that happens, we have to warn parents about what we are seeing in the data, which is that social media is associated with mental health harms for adolescents.”

A study from early last year found that usage of social media may affect the brain development of youth, with researchers discovering different checking habits of social media connected with changes in the brains of youths.