AG asks Granite Staters to share stories about social media’s negative impacts on young people

By ANNMARIE TIMMINS

New Hampshire Bulletin

Published: 06-28-2023 3:45 PM

State officials are stepping up efforts to investigate social media’s negative effects on young Granite Staters’ mental health. 

Tuesday, Attorney General John Formella announced his office wants to hear from people who’ve seen social media affect the mental health of loved ones, especially young people. 

His office began investigating the link between social media use and physical and mental health harms in 2021. Three months ago, Formella joined 46 other attorneys general in an investigation of negative experiences associated with using TikTok.

Gov. Chris Sununu has joined the effort too. He signed an executive order in June requiring state agencies to help students and parents better understand and protect themselves from the harmful effects of social media use. 

He gave the departments of Education and Health and Human Services until September to create guidelines for K-12 curriculum about social media’s effect on health. The order gives the Department of Information Technology and the Attorney General’s Office until August to create a website of resources for parents. 

“Extensive social media use has been tied to profound risks of harm in youth,” Formella said in a statement Tuesday. “Indeed, there has been an increased focus on the correlation between the development of serious mental health disorders by minors and time spent on social media.”

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Formella’s office is asking people to share experiences of social media’s negative impacts on a young person by emailing that information to SMPImpact@doj.nh.gov.

People are encouraged to share their name, contact information, age of the person impacted, a brief summary of what they have seen, and the social media platform(s) involved.

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