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May 27, 2024

Should kids say goodbye to social media?

Alejandra Mato

Imagine this: you’re scrolling through TikTok, casually checking your feed. You see a 12-year-old’s new skincare video and admire the way she applies Drunk Elephant to her face. There’s no harm in that right? Well, apparently there is. 

U.S. surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, is “concerned about social media and youth mental health.” He says that new evidence shows that kids who spend an excess amount of time on social media have an increased risk of depression and anxiety. They also deal with feeds with unrealistic bodies that can damage their self esteem.  Spending a lot of time looking at social media on phones can also effect kids’ social life and academic performance. “Other manifestations of declining mental health—loneliness and friendlessness—have surged during the great smartphone experiment, while academic performance in reading, math and science has fallen,” said Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post

That’s a lot of negative effects from social media, but it’s not all bad. Social media can also be a space for teens to express their ideas and communicate with friends. Look, I’m a teenager too, and sometimes I waste 30 minutes of my day searching on Instagram for an aesthetic matcha latte recipe that I probably won’t make. But you know it’s really bad when you see 8-year-olds scrolling through Youtube shorts instead of playing with their friends–you know, like what we used to do. 

I suppose Governor Ron Desantis feels the same way, but is taking it to a new extreme. This is why he proposed a new legislation, House Bill 3. This bill states that any child under the age of 14 will have their social media accounts automatically removed and children that are 14 and 15 will need to have a parental guardian approve their social media usage. However, it’s unclear what social media sites will they actually be banned from

Do you think this is fair or effective? I personally am not sure if this is the right approach to stop kids from using social media. I mean, who’s to say kids won’t just make an extra effort to lie about their age? And many of us in high school have passed that age requirement. But what about our younger siblings? As much as I would love to see kids playing outside again, this might be taking away too much freedom and their ability to learn self control. 

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About the Contributors
Audrey Prabhakar
Audrey Prabhakar is a freshman at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. This is her first year as a member of The Beat staff. In addition to writing for the newspaper, she enjoys dancing for her dance team and is an aspiring debater.
Alejandra Mato
Alejandra Mato is a junior at Carrollton. This is her first year working with the Beat, and she is very excited to design fun graphics.

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