GIRLS are more than twice as likely as boys to show signs of depression linked to social media use, a study shows.
Spending hours on the likes of Facebook and Instagram can cause low self-esteem and problems concentrating and sleeping.
Heavy users, especially girls, are more likely to cry a lot, said boffins, who are urging parents to limit children’s phone use.
The University College London team quizzed 11,000 14-year-olds on their social media exposure and emotions over a fortnight.
Eighteen per cent of girls online for one to three hours a day were found to have clinical signs of depression compared to seven per cent of lads.
For those online five hours or more online — one in four girls, and one in eight boys — this rocketed to 38 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
Study leader Professor Yvonne Kelly said: “Families may want to reflect on when and where it’s OK to be on social media and agree time limits.
“Curfews for use and the overnight removal of mobile devices from bedrooms might be something to consider.”
The Royal Society for Public Health said the study showed it was important to increase the awareness of parents, schools and policy makers on the role of social media in kids’ mental health.
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