Deep Bench: Less sleep and exercise, more bullying exposure affects teens' mental health

WAUSAU, Wis. (WZAW) -- It's estimated that 7 in 10 Americans use social media.

The study suggests social media use may harm the mental health of teenagers by increasing their exposure to bullying. (Source: CNN)

The constant scrolling of screens and searching social media has become commonplace. Now new evidence suggests those platforms are harmful to your teens' mental health.

Dr. Brian Weiland, a licensed clinical psychologist from Behavioral Health Clinic in Wausau joined the Deep Bench Thursday to discuss the new study and certain factors play a role.

"What the study talked about was, there's a link between social media use and things like less exercise, sleeplessness, even bullying and things like that," Weiland said. "And there has been for some time a link between depressive symptoms and social media use as well."

He said with social media these days, everyone is accessible to everyone else.

"After you leave school, these types of interactions continue to follow you home," Weiland added.

The study also showed that girls are more vulnerable to be affected than boys.

Weiland offered this for parents:

"The study advised against limiting social media use in general, so instead of doing that, let's look at the deficits. If the person isn't exercising a lot, the person is experiencing some sleeplessness, their diet has changed, let's focus on those pieces."

Other things to help teens spend less time on social media is to set limits, make unplugged time a priority, keep devices out of bedrooms at night and be a good role model. Parents need to put those phones down sometimes too.