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Social media platforms like Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok face an onslaught of social media addiction lawsuits nationwide.
Many of the lawsuits claim that the companies developed algorithms to lure teens into their platforms even though they knew it could cause harm. Thousands of pages of internal documents were leaked that show Facebook knew the harm it was causing — especially to its youngest users.
If social media addiction has caused harm to you or your child, join the growing number of victims and concerned parents filing social media addiction lawsuits.
Social media addiction affects the brain’s chemical processes, causing a dopamine rush, a neurotransmitter that helps us feel pleasure.
People who use social media excessively and compulsively may have addiction issues. They may appear to be overly concerned with social media and unable to stop themselves from using it.
Symptoms of social media addiction may include:
Studies show that social media addiction can negatively affect mood, emotional and physical reactions and cause psychological problems.
Social media’s harmful effects on mental health are believed to be more pronounced in the teenage population.
According to the Mayo Clinic, 12 to 15 year olds who spend more than three hours per day on social media could be at increased risk for problems with mental health.
Leaked internal Facebook documents include the following data:
Additionally, teenagers tend to be more impulsive, making them more likely to post things they would not have shared if they thought the consequences through. This includes overly personal information and intimate photos, both of which can lead to cyberbullying.
The toll cyberbullying can take on vulnerable teens’ self-esteem can cause eating disorders, depression and even suicide.
Studies suggest that Instagram may be the social media platform that has the most harmful effects on body image, especially among teenagers. This is consistent with the leaked internal Facebook documents, which showed that 32% of teen girls felt worse about their bodies because of what they saw on Instagram.
Appallingly, once users click on the images known to cause them problems, the algorithms are designed to push more and more of the same types of images into their feeds.
According to a journal article published on the National Library of Medicine’s website, teenage depression has increased over the past 20 years. This timeline coincides with the increased popularity of social media.
“We’re looking at clinical-level depression that requires treatment. We’re talking about self harm that lands people in the ER.”
– Jean Twenge, Psychology Professor, San Diego State University
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that suicides in females aged 15-24 have increased by almost 90% over the past 20 years. Once again, this timing aligns with the increasing popularity of social media platforms that are suspected of pushing harmful content onto users.
Theories suggest that social media is bad for self-esteem because the highly edited images depicting perfect bodies and lives can create negative feelings about oneself.
“They need to change what they’re feeding these children — change the algorithm so it doesn’t take them into these dark places,” said one mother whose teenage daughter committed suicide.
If you notice any warning signs that your teen may be struggling with social media addiction, seek professional advice without delay. Speak with your child’s doctor about how to get the help your family needs.
If you or your child has already suffered from harm due to a social media addiction, you may have legal rights.
You may be able to file a lawsuit over social media addiction if you or your child:
Since the destructive effects of social media addiction may be especially pronounced in younger users, victims may be too young to file lawsuits on their own. In these cases, parents or guardians may be able to file a social media addiction lawsuit on their behalf.
By taking legal action, you can help send a powerful message to predatory tech companies that they must be more responsible, especially with vulnerable populations like children, teens and young adults.
Simmons Hanly Conroy is a leading complex litigation firm that has recovered over $10.2 billion in verdicts and settlements.
We have a proven track record of holding negligent corporations accountable, having handled cases against powerful companies like these social media giants before.
The resources you can count on when you work with Simmons Hanly Conroy include:
Our social media addiction lawyers have the firepower needed to battle tech giants like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat.
While there is no way to know for sure, some experts believe up to 10% of people in the U.S. are addicted to social media.
Teenage statistics may be even grimmer since 92% of teens go online daily, with 24% reporting they are almost constantly online. In one study, 59% of parents reported believing their teens are addicted to devices.
Our social media addiction lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you will not be charged any upfront or out-of-pocket costs.
Your social media lawyer will only collect money if your case results in financial compensation.
Since social media addiction lawsuits are still relatively new, the litigation pathway has yet to be charted out. However, there are laws called statutes of limitations that place strict deadlines on how long people have to file lawsuits.
Since these laws vary by state, it is best to consult a social media addiction lawyer to discuss how long you have to file. Do not wait — if you miss your deadline, you may be forever prevented from taking legal action.