Common Sense Media

Getting Help Online: How Young People Find, Evaluate, and Use Mental Health Apps, Online Therapy, and Behavioral Health Information

Adolescents and young adults are facing elevated rates of mental health issues—and they're also struggling with access to the mental health care they urgently need. When young people express the need for professional help, they often encounter obstacles to seeing a therapist, such as prolonged wait times, limited local access to mental health providers, or financial barriers. In light of these barriers, young people turn to social media and digital mental health apps to attempt to fulfill their needs.

A Double-Edged Sword: How Diverse Communities of Young People Think About the Multifaceted Relationship Between Social Media and Mental Health

National narratives about youth well-being have increasingly focused on how to address the youth mental health crisis. While a multitude of complex factors are contributing to the growth of mental health challenges among young people, social media has often landed in the center of the conversation.

How Successful Is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

Across the country, states are making critical decisions about how to leverage $80 billion in federal broadband infrastructure funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). With the right planning, these funds could ensure that high-speed internet service will finally reach every single home and business in the country, which has been one of Common Sense Media's top priorities for years.

NDIA and Common Sense Media Highlight Community Perspectives on Digital Discrimination

In the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Congress recognized that digital discrimination is a real and present problem for many people and charged the Federal Communications Commission with developing rules to prevent and eliminate it. NDIA and Common Sense Media submitted comments in response to the FCC’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the forthcoming digital discrimination rules. Examples of discriminatory practices to look out for: Pricing, Performance, Customer service, Network maintenance, Contract terms and conditions, and Marketing.

Who Is the "You" in YouTube?

YouTube videos viewed by children do not reflect the ethnic diversity of young children, tweens, and teens across the United States. In videos watched by young children, portrayals of BIPOC characters are disproportionately negative when compared to White characters. In videos watched by 0- to 8-year-olds, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) character portrayals were shallow or missing almost three-quarters of the time.

Advocacy Organizations Submit Joint Comments to FCC on Digital Discrimination

A group of organizations referred to as the Joint Advocates [including the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the implementation of the anti-digital discrimination section in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In their comments, the Joint Advocates requested that the FCC conduct a study to assess preferential treatment for high-income broadband users over the needs of low-income users. The group makes the following arguments in its filing:

The Infrastructure Act and the Need for Continued USF Support

While the recent COVID-response programs are welcomed additions to the effort to connect all people, they are only one part of the total ecosystem required to achieve universal service. The Universal Service Fund continues to be an important part of that ecosystem. Specifically, the Lifeline program’s voice and data and voiceonly subsidies for consumers is not replicated elsewhere, and the Emergency Connectivity Fund program does not reach as far or cover as many needs as the E-rate program. One program does not serve all ends.