Davis & Crump is currently investigating claims on behalf of adolescents, teens, and young adults who became addicted to social media and suffered harmful mental health effects as a result of social media platforms.

The Rise in Social Media Use among American Youth

Over the past ten to fifteen years, America’s youth have become increasingly engaged with social media. In fact, over a third of 13 to 17 year old kids report using a social media app “almost constantly” and admit that this is “too much.” Anyone with kids has almost certainly witnessed this type of compulsive social media use.

This increased social media engagement by young people is no accident. Instead, it is the result of social media companies’ intentional efforts to make young people compulsively use their products, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube. These companies use advanced computer processes, also known as algorithms and artificial intelligence, to collect and analyze users’ data. These algorithms promote compulsive use by providing and withholding stimuli and rewards, based on user-specific data. Social media “rewards,” for example “likes” of a users’ posts and videos or posts that are especially compelling to the user, produce a release of dopamine in the brain. This “dopamine hit” is similar to that received through use of drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. This intentional manipulation of the user occurs while the user is on the app, but also through notifications when the user is not on the app. In fact, the entire social media model is designed to keep the user on the app, and to get them back on the app once they finally put their phone or other device down.

The methods employed by the social media platforms, are especially effective with children and adolescents, whose brains are not yet fully developed. This population has less impulse control, so it is more difficult for them to exercise self-control in their use of social media. Further, children and adolescents have an already-heightened need for social comparison and validation. The social media products encourage compulsive use by dramatically amplifying the insecurities that already exist in this vulnerable population.

Social Media is Fueling a Mental Health Crisis among American Youth

American children are suffering an unprecedented mental health crisis fueled by these addictive social media products. Over the past decade, we have seen an alarming increase in suicide rates and emergency room visits for anxiety disorders among American youth. There has also been a sharp increase in high school students reporting persistent sadness and hopelessness, which corresponds with the increase in social media use among these same students. Tragically, suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth.

The simultaneous rise in mental health issues and social media use in America’s youth is not a coincidence. There is a significant and growing body of scientific literature demonstrating the connection between mental health issues and social media use. The following have been linked to social media use:

  • Social Media Addiction
  • Lack of Focus
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Body Dysmorphia (obsessive focus on minor or imagined flaw in appearance)
  • Eating Disorders, including Anorexia and Bulimia
  • Self Harm and Thoughts of Self-Harm
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Suicide Attempts
  • Suicide

At Davis & Crump, we believe that the companies responsible for targeting America’s youth with these dangerous and addictive social media products should be held accountable.

Do I Have A Claim?

Our legal team is helping young individuals and their families who have been harmed by the dangerous actions of social media companies. We are offering a free legal consultation and case evaluation. There is no out-of-pocket cost to you to have our firm represent you in this case. Davis & Crump is only paid an attorney’s fee if a recovery is made in your case.

Why Chose Davis & Crump?

Davis & Crump has handled complex litigation since 1984. We have recovered over one billion dollars for our clients. Our attorneys are leaders in complex cases and are recognized in such publications as Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News & World Report, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and Super Lawyers.

Davis & Crump is experienced in complex litigation and settlements. If you or a loved one has been harmed by social media use, call us at 1-800-277-0300, email us at info@daviscrump.com, or fill out a free case evaluation form. Time is of the essence, so act now.

Fill out a free claim evaluation or call us at 1-800-277-0300 to get started.