Navigating a digital childhood as generation 'Like'

Exploring the impact of social media on mental health

Tuesday, 24 September 2024 | 18:15-19:30 | Conference Centre

Organised by the European Health Forum Gastein

In a digitalised world, social media plays a significant part in the lives of children across Europe. With evidence claiming that both too much or not enough access to social media is negatively affecting children and young adults, concern is mounting about the way that social media is used by young generations.

Sensitivity to social media is not linear and varies across demographics. Periods of apparent vulnerability to social media content arise at different developmental periods, with adolescents experiencing significant impacts, alongside a noticeable gender difference. In contrast, online connections for marginalised and vulnerable communities can provide safe social arenas often resulting in supportive mental health factors. 

Social media and alternative digital formats allow young people to consume content regardless of location and time. With concerns over addictive qualities, unsolicited and unrestricted content, access and regulatory protections, the perceived collapse in children and young person’s mental and physical health and the connection to social media is quickly becoming of widespread concern. Placing the topic firmly on the EHFG agenda, this session aims to open the discussion about the harms, benefits, and safety of a product widely used by children and young people across Europe.

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The European Health Forum Gastein has received funding under a project grant from the European Union’s EU4Health programme 2021-2027. Views and opinions expressed on this website are however those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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