Cleveland Clinic Study Reveals Social Media May Be Impacting Your Child’s Attention Span

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UTAH (ABC4) — Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have been suggested to have serious consequences when it comes to children’s mental health. However, how do these networks affect the attention span of young users? According to a study from the Cleveland Clinic, mindlessly scrolling through reel after reel, video after video, could actually be hurting your child’s attention span.

“The impact of screens is certainly profound, because what’s happening with screens is that attention is diverted from face-to-face interactions and focused on a device,” said Michael Manos, MD, pediatric psychologist for Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

Although Dr. Manos reports that there is no concrete evidence that regularly scrolling through videos on social media can have a long-term impact on a child’s attention span, he notes that it might be more difficult for him to concentrate in class or finish short-term homework. .

According to Dr. Manos, the best way to prevent social media from affecting your child’s attention span is to limit their screen time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children under the age of four should spend no more than one hour in front of a screen per day, while older children should limit themselves to two hours per day. If young children are going to interact with screens, it is important that they do so under parental supervision.

“Limiting access is definitely the only way I know of,” Dr. Manos said. “All of a child’s talking and lecturing will do nothing because captivating screens is far more powerful than anything a parent will say.”

If you notice your child starting to throw tantrums when you take away their screens, Dr. Manos says it might be time to consider seeing a professional.


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