Jan. 24, 2024 – “Companies like TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook are fueling a mental health crisis by designing their platforms with addictive and dangerous features,” he said. “We cannot stand by and let Big Tech monetize our children’s privacy and jeopardize their mental health.”

Adams confirmed New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan issued an advisory to classify “unfettered access to and use of social media” as a public health hazard.

In the advisory, the department laid out a series of steps that adults, especially parents and caregivers, can take to promote healthy social media use. It recommended parents and caregivers delay giving kids access to a smartphone or social media until at least the age of 14 and create a “family media plan” the designates media habits in a household. 

The advisory also urged federal and state policymakers to build upon legislative proposals that protect young people “from predatory practices by social media companies.” 

Adams said more information will be coming out about the advisory “soon.” 

Social media companies have recently faced increased scrutiny over the role their platforms play in young people’s mental health. 

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory last year that warned social media use could be harmful to the mental health of young people. Murthy said at the time there is a possibility of a link between time spent on social media and depression and anxiety.