Media Tip Sheet: U.S. Surgeon General Issues Advisory on Social Media Concerns for Children & Teens

May 24, 2023

Hand holding a phone that shows social media apps

WASHINGTON (May 24, 2022) - The U.S. Surgeon General is sounding the alarm on the risk social media poses to children's mental health. It comes amid a national youth mental health crisis. In an advisory issued Tuesday, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy wrote that excessive social media use as a child may lead to a higher risk of poor mental health and that there isn’t enough information to say whether social media is “sufficiently safe” for children and teenagers. 

GW faculty experts are available to offer insight, commentary and analysis on the impact of social media on mental health as well as social media addiction and the policy and practice suggestions that could address this issue. If you would like to speak with an expert, please contact GW Media Relations at [email protected]


GW's Vikram Bhargava

Vikram R. Bhargava is an assistant professor of strategic management and public policy at the GW School of Business. His research centers around topics including technology addiction, mass social media outrage, artificial intelligence, and other topics related to digital technology policy. Bhargava can speak to social media addiction, why exactly social media is an addictive product unlike any other, and the policy and practice suggestions that are often overlooked.





GW's Fallon Goodman

Fallon Goodman is an assistant professor of psychology and the director of the Emotion and Resilience Laboratory at GW. Dr. Goodman’s research focuses on human social connection and how people deal with adversity, with a particular emphasis on individuals who are susceptible to social stress.







Dr. Mary DeRaedt is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Virginia and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) with a Doctorate in Counseling and Supervision. She is a Clinical Professor at the George Washington University and provides psychotherapy for people of all ages at the Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education. Her previous work has focused on effective treatments for children and adolescents coping with trauma, anxiety, non-suicidal self-injury, depression, behavior disorders and disordered eating. She teaches courses in play therapy, trauma and crisis intervention, child and adolescent development, family therapy, internship in clinical supervision and human sexuality. 


GW's Lorien Abroms

Lorien Abroms, professor of prevention and community health, can discuss how social media has become part of the fabric of daily life. Her research looks at digital communication technologies and how they can be used to promote good health, such as text messaging systems that help people quit smoking. Her research has also looked at the potential harms of social media including anorexia and other mental health impacts.



GW's Amita Vyas

Amita Vyas, associate professor of prevention and community health and Director of the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, earned her doctorate in Population and Family Health Sciences. Her research has focused primarily on the health and well-being of adolescent girls and women. She can discuss the positive and negative aspects of social media.