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Utah has become the first state in the United States to limit how much time teenagers can spend on social media, in a move that aims to protect young people's mental health.
The new law, which was signed by Governor Spencer Cox on Thursday, requires social media companies to allow users aged 13 to 17 to set a limit on their daily use of the platform.
The law also requires social media companies to display a warning on their platforms when users exceed their daily limits.
The move follows a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics which found that teenagers who spend too much time on social media are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.
The new law applies to all social media companies operating in Utah, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
In a statement, Governor Cox said the law was an important step towards protecting the mental health of Utah's young people.
“We know that too much time on social media can have a negative impact on the wellbeing of our children,” he said. “This law will give parents the tools and information they need to help their children make healthy choices online.”
The law has been welcomed by mental health experts, who say that it could help to reduce the number of young people suffering from the negative effects of social media overuse.
Dr. Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the law was a “step in the right direction” and would help to create a “culture of awareness” around the potential harms of overuse of social media.
The new law is a sign that Utah is taking the issue of teenage mental health seriously, and it will be interesting to see if other states follow suit.