Earlier this month, Sheryl Sandberg talked compellingly at the Munich DLD conference about Facebook’s challenges and the company’s acceptance of greater responsibility around the big issues of data safety, misinformation, and transparency.
But what was striking was the lack of acknowledgment of Facebook’s responsibility for the direct correlation between social media and the rapid rise of mental health issues, depression, and rates of suicide.
Her father has put some of the blame on the disturbing posts she viewed on Instagram, and last Sunday health secretary Matt Hancock announced that he would consider banning social media platforms that failed to remove harmful content.
It is hard to deny that the internet has created some unsettling byproducts, especially among young people.
Young adults now drink and smoke less, have less sex (teenage pregnancies are dropping rapidly), and are physically safer than ever before.
But the negatives are significant: they socialise and date less, and spend little unsupervised time together – ultimately, they are less independent than previous generations.