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Social media may alter adaptive neural development in young people causing harm.

Michigan – February 21, 2023

Neuroplasticity is how human experiences reorganize neural pathways in the brain. Lasting brain function changes occur when humans learn new things or memorize new information. Because young people are vulnerable to technology and social media, they frequently utilize these platforms and their brains respond to that type of stimulus differently than through connections made in person.  Recent studies have revealed that technology and social media use is associated with changes in structural brain development (i.e., changing the size and physical characteristics of the brain).

Social media and brain development.

The concern for developmental neuroscientists is that there are two critical periods for adaptive neural development that include the first year of life, and the other at the onset of puberty through early adulthood from age 10-25.  These ages crave social rewards, attention, and positive feedback from their peers while their brains do not yet have the fully developed ability to use good judgment to inhibit negative behaviors or avoid dangerous  temptations that may be harmful.  The frequent use and content searching on social media platforms is a danger to anyone using them for extended periods of time, particularly young impressionable individuals. Instagram has been found to be damaging to mental health, contributing to problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety and eating disorders. Teenagers and young adults who have used Facebook or Instagram and subsequently experienced negative mental health impacts may be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover damage compensation. Victims should talk with a personal injury lawyer about identified negative health impacts that may include:

  • Depression or depressive symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphia
  • ADHD
  • Self-harm or suicidal ideation
  • Any other diagnosed mental illnesses

Victims of social media harms may need to prove that the negative mental health issues were not present before the extended use of the platforms. The addictive nature of Instagram can be appealing to picture takers who quickly realize that Instagram’s filters can make the ordinary look stunning driving users to share more images and wait for validation of their posts.

Victim access to damage compensation.

Lawsuits for social media may be based on improper or non-existent warnings to the dangers posed by their use and victims who used the platforms before they turned 21, spend more than 3 hours per day and suffer from mental health issues may be able to build a case against Instagram based on the lack of transparency regarding known dangers data researched by Meta.  Damage compensation in a personal injury lawsuit refers to correcting any losses, economic or non-economic, incurred because of an external factor.  Any mental health struggles caused by Instagram in this case may require compensation to cover:

  • Medical treatment costs
  • Therapy costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional damages
  • Lifelong disability
  • Other potential damages as identified in the Meta lawsuits.

Individuals and families who are suffering through mental health issues caused by social media addiction or those who have lost a loved one through suicide due to a negative social media interaction should contact experienced Facebook lawsuit lawyers to discuss their concerns.

Hire a lawyer.

Michigan personal injury attorneys  at the Neumann Law Group must work to prove negligence and that may require a variety of witnesses from the behavioral health, medical, technological design, and consumer protection specialties, in addition to collecting scientific evidence supporting associated mental health risks, crises and statistical death numbers related to social media.

Neumann Law Group

Traverse City

300 E Front St #445
Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: (231) 221-0050
Fax: (231) 221-0051

Sources:

  1. APA chief scientist outlines potential harms, benefits of social media for kids
  2. https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title28/part6/chapter171&edition=prelim
  3. About Instagram | Capture, Create & Share What You Love
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