When used too much, social media channels like Meta Platforms' Facebook and Instagram have been shown to contribute to a range of mental health effects, like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, low self-esteem, self-harm, suicide, and more.
Sadly, children and adolescents are most affected by the harms of social media addiction — leading many young adults and families to file social media addiction lawsuits.
Filing a Lawsuit Over Adolescent Social Media Addiction
In 2016, Facebook (Meta) ordered its employees to focus on capturing more teenage users on the site, according to a former Instagram executive.
Now, more than 40% of Instagram’s American users are 22 years old or younger, with 22 million teens logging into Instagram each day in the U.S., compared to only 5 million for Facebook.
Unfortunately, some of the most severe addiction and mental health risks were linked specifically to Instagram, above all other social media platforms.
While TikTok is more rooted in performance and Snapchat focuses on filters and the face in particular, Instagram places far more importance on the body overall and the person’s lifestyle, which can more readily invite unrealistic comparisons and standards.
“Teens told us that they don’t like the amount of time they spend on the app, but feel like they have to be present….They often feel ‘addicted’ and know that what they’re seeing is bad for their mental health but feel unable to stop themselves.”
– Internal Research by Facebook & Instagram
Obtained from a Wall Street Journal Investigation
Despite compiling data on its apps and the effects on teens for years, Facebook (Meta) has done everything it can to withhold this research from lawmakers and the public — all while downplaying the mental health risks and making little to no effort to address the underlying issues.
To seek justice and hold these social media giants accountable, many have turned to filing social media addiction lawsuits for the physical and psychological harm they or their children have suffered as a result.
See If You Can Take Action
Contact us today to learn more about your legal options — for free. Take the first steps toward justice now.
Social Media Lawsuit Compensation
Treating addiction and addressing the root of the issues can take months, if not years, making it easy for the expenses to add up quickly.
By filing a social media addiction lawsuit, you may be able to secure compensation that can help pay for medical care, therapy sessions, and more.
For over 40 years, Sokolove Law has helped thousands of families take a stand against the companies that wronged them, securing more than $9.1 Billion on their behalf. We’ll work hard to get you everything you’re entitled to.
Who Can File a Social Media Harm Lawsuit?
You may be able to file a social media addiction lawsuit if you or your child:
- May be addicted to using social media (like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok)
- Suffered physical or psychological harm as a result of the addiction
- Were under the age of 25 when the addiction started
What Is Social Media Addiction in Teens?
While not an official diagnosis, social media addiction is often considered a type of behavioral addiction, which means it can negatively influence some users’ behavior, brain, and mental health.
Children and adolescents are at particular risk of social media addiction because they’re still establishing their own sense of identity, leaving them highly open to the influence of the algorithm.
"When children are exposed to social media, they can overstimulate their reward center and increase their reward responsiveness....It's OK to use a little bit, but when it becomes too much, it creates problems."
– California State University Researchers
Unfortunately, with social media addiction, the harm doesn’t only arise from the need for more likes or the addiction itself. For instance, when Facebook hid the Like feature for young users, they found that the well-being of teens did not improve.
Several elements innate to the apps themselves can also play into the mental health effects adolescents may experience:
- Cyberbullying: Teens can be impulsive with what they share and potentially open themselves up to being bullied, harassed, or blackmailed, which can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem, self-harm, and more.
- Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): FOMO can often lead children and teens to check their phones and scroll through their feeds compulsively, which can affect focus, cause anxiety, and more.
- Social Comparisons: When social media users compare themselves to others on the apps, some may define their own quality of life or self-worth based on how they measure up to what they see in their feeds, whether it’s realistic or not.
Because of the need for approval many teens feel, they may be more likely to struggle with social media addiction created by the pressure to fit in.
Social Media Addiction and Mental Health Effects in Teens
Side effects of social media addiction in children and teens often include:
- Body dysmorphia (a body image disorder that leads to compulsive concerns about self-perceived physical flaws or shortcomings)
- Difficulty focusing
- Eating disorders
- Injuries or death from TikTok challenges
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Low self-esteem
- Sexual exploitation
- Suicidal thoughts & suicide
What makes these side effects particularly troubling is how some of these conditions feed into one another, putting teens at risk of developing several potentially serious issues.
Through cyberbullying or social comparisons, a teen can easily feel bad about themselves and suffer from anxiety, depression, and lowered self-esteem that, in turn, can worsen into something like an eating disorder and self-harm or suicide.
“For some people, it might be tempting to dismiss this as teen girls being sad. [However] we’re looking at clinical-level depression that requires treatment. We’re talking about self-harm that lands people in the ER.”
– Dr. Jean Twenge, Academic Researcher & Professor of Psychology
Signs of Social Media Addiction
For health issues without clear diagnostic tests like addiction, it can be difficult to know exactly who is affected. When you consider that billions of people globally use social media, it becomes especially challenging to recognize when a hobby becomes potentially dangerous.
Based on the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS), you may be struggling with social media addiction if you often:
- Spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning how to use it
- Have the urge to use social media more and more
- Use social media as a distraction or way to forget about personal issues
- Have unsuccessfully tried to cut down on your use of social media
- Become anxious, restless, or upset if you’re unable to use social media
- Use social media so much that it has negatively impacted your studies or life
Teenagers struggling with social media addiction may also have difficulties making new friends in person or maintaining the real-life relationships they do have.
It’s important to catch these signs of social media addiction and get help as early as possible — before they become more serious mental health effects.
How to File a Social Media Lawsuit for Addiction
At Sokolove Law, we know that having a child who may be addicted to social media and suffering mental health side effects may make filing a lawsuit seem overwhelming or like too much — but that’s where we come in.
When you work with our social media addiction lawyers, we can handle every step of the legal process on your behalf, so you can focus on what matters most: your family’s health and well-being.
Generally speaking, this process may include your social media lawyer and legal team:
- Verifying that you qualify to take legal action
- Finding the evidence to build your case and support your claim
- Filing the social media addiction lawsuit within any legal deadlines
- Negotiating social media settlements with the defendants
- Pursuing a verdict during a trial in court
Social Media Settlements & Verdicts
Filing a social media addiction lawsuit can potentially result in one of the following forms of compensation:
- Social Media Settlements: Your legal team and the defendants may be able to agree on an amount of compensation to resolve your case without going to trial, which is known as a social media settlement.
- Trial Verdicts: If a social media settlement isn’t reached, your case may continue to a trial in court, where a judge/jury can determine the financial outcome in a verdict.
Billions Recovered Nationwide
At Sokolove Law, we’ve recovered over $9.1 Billion for thousands of injured clients nationwide. Let us get you the results you deserve.
What to Look for in Social Media Attorneys
Social media companies have billions of dollars in profit and employ powerful lawyers to defend their corporate interests. This makes it particularly important to find an experienced legal team of your own who can make sure your voice is heard.
Our team of social media attorneys are prepared to level the playing field between you and companies like these, while fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Why work with Sokolove Law for your social media addiction claim?
- Over 40 Years of Experience: Since 1979, Sokolove Law has helped thousands of clients hold the people or companies responsible for their injuries accountable.
- $9.1 Billion in Results: We’ve recovered billions of dollars in total settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.
- Attorneys & Offices Nationwide: As a national law firm, Sokolove Law can handle cases in all 50 states, helping clients wherever they may be in the U.S.
- No Hourly Fees or Out-of-Pocket Costs: Our social media attorneys only get paid if we’re able to recover compensation in your case, so there’s no financial risk on your end.
Get Help Filing a Social Media Addiction Lawsuit
Companies should not be allowed to target vulnerable populations like children and teenagers with products that may not be safe — and this should also apply to social media platforms.
As a national personal injury law firm, Sokolove Law is proud to take a stand and fight back against companies like this on behalf of our clients.
If you or your child have suffered mental health side effects related to social media addiction, you may be able:
- Hold social media companies accountable for their unfair practices and harm
- Potentially prevent other adolescents from becoming addicted to social media
- Pursue compensation that can help cover the costs of treatment
- Seek justice for your family over these predatory practices
Social Media Lawsuit Cases FAQs
Who can sue for social media addiction?
Generally speaking, you may be able to sue social media companies if you or your loved one suffer physical or psychological harm as a result of social media addiction or compulsion.
Get a free case review now to learn more about your options.
Is there a class action lawsuit against social media companies for addiction?
Yes. More than 80 social media addiction cases against TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media giants have been grouped together into an industrywide multidistrict litigation (MDL), though 70% of the claims name only Facebook or Instagram as defendants.
There’s still time for you to get involved in the MDL or social media class action lawsuit if you or a loved one has been negatively affected by addiction to social media platforms. Get started today with a free case review.
Who are the defendants in the social media lawsuit for addiction?
There are currently social media lawsuits filed against Meta (Instagram and Facebook), Snap (Snapchat), ByteDance (TikTok) and Google (YouTube) for issues involving adolescent addiction.
How much do lawyers for social media lawsuits charge?
At Sokolove Law, our social media lawyers don’t charge any hourly fees — our team only gets paid if we recover compensation on your behalf.
This way, there aren’t any financial risks or barriers to taking legal action. You only stand to potentially profit from filing a lawsuit with Sokolove Law.
How do you know if you’re addicted to social media?
Oftentimes, people suffering from social media addiction may have a feeling that their app use may not be healthy, but it can be difficult to know for sure, leading many to seek some kind of confirmation.
The Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS) was designed to help social media users understand when they may be struggling with symptoms of addiction.
The BSMAS presents the following six statements and asks the user to rate how often they experience it on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being very rarely and 5 being very often):
- You spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning how to use it
- You feel an urge to use social media more and more
- You use social media in order to forget about personal problems
- You have tried to cut down on the use of social media without success
- You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using social media
- You use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies
Providing a score of 4 or 5 on at least four questions could indicate social media addiction.
My teenager is addicted to social media — what should I do?
If your teenager is addicted to social media, what matters most is getting them help and taking some steps to monitor the issue and prevent what you can.
You could potentially try:
- Setting boundaries around how long or even how they use social media
- Monitoring your teen’s accounts and keeping an eye on what they post
- Encouraging in-person social interactions as well
- Scheduling some time for them to talk a therapist or counselor
If your teenager has suffered physical or psychological harm from social media addiction, Sokolove Law may also be able to help.
We are working with families across the country to file social media addiction lawsuits and hold companies like Facebook and Instagram accountable for targeting teenagers.
See if you have a case now for free. It costs nothing to speak with our team and we’re ready to help 24/7.
Is social media making self-harm worse for teens?
In some instances, yes. When using social media, children and teens are constantly presented with a feed of everyone’s best moments and most attractive pictures, which leads to what’s known as social comparisons.
Adolescents may compare themselves to what they see and find their lives to be lacking in some way, potentially leading some to place blame on themselves for not looking a certain way or being as successful as others they see in their feeds.
This feeling of not being enough or as good as their friends and family members or the stars they see in their feeds can cause many to feel anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
Over time, this can lead to self-harm in teens, suicidal ideation, and suicide.
Does social media addiction contribute to teenage suicide or suicidal thoughts?
Social media use is linked with increased depression and suicide, especially in teens. According to leaked internal Facebook documents, 6% of teenage girls in the U.S. could trace their suicidal thoughts back to using Instagram specifically.