Skip to Content

Columbia chaplain supports social media app warning label


Columbia Psychology Healing Center Chaplain Laird Thompson sees a lot of children with mental health issues.

And for many of them, social media contributes to those problems, he says.

"It's the idea of garbage in garbage out, what are you consuming, what are you hearing, what is getting in before your eyes and before your ears," Thompson said. "That can really damage some adolescents whose brains are developing."

This week U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recommended Congress place warning labels for children on social media apps. The proposal would protect children's mental health, Murthy says, amid climbing evidence that such apps can harm developing brains.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 95% of teens ages 13 to 17 use social media, and more than 1-in 3-kids report that they use it "almost constantly."

Thompson said he thinks a warning label could help parents understand the risks.

"If the surgeon general can create more awareness by enforcing warning labels and doing more research it's going to benefit our next generation of kids," he said.

Thompson said he sees social media contribute to stress, anxiety and sadness in children. He's seen more children with anxiety in the last five years. Many have self-esteem issues.

A Columbia father said he doesn't think a label would change much. But he thinks people should try to get off their phones and outdoors more to keep children healthy and happy.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Reagan Phillips

Reagan is a summer intern with ABC 17 News.


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content