Is your child on social media? Tonight, we have breaking news on an incoming Senate bill that could change the way kids access social media platforms. The bill aims to protect children from the impacts of social media.
As social media use among children continues to rise, lawmakers in the United States are taking steps to protect minors from the negative impacts of these platforms. A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the Senate that would set a minimum age for children on social media and require parental consent for teenagers ages 13 through 17. The bill has garnered support from both Democrats and Republicans, reflecting the growing concern among lawmakers about the impact of social media on children’s well-being.
This bipartisan conversion hit its peak when the democrat surgeon general made a viral admission two months ago that 13 years old was indeed too young for social media.
A new bill is being introduced in the Senate that proposes to set a minimum age limit for children on social media, according to a report in The Washington Post. The bill, co-sponsored by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Katie Boyd Britt (R-AK), aims to protect children from the negative impacts of social media and the use of algorithms to target minors.
Under the proposed bill, children under 13 would be banned from accessing social media platforms, while teenagers aged 13-17 would require parental consent before using these platforms. The legislation is expected to address growing concerns among parents over the role of technology in their children’s lives.
This move by Senators Schatz and Cotton follows similar efforts by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to protect children on social media. In Florida, for example, a bill was introduced that would require public schools to teach children about social media safety. The bill, proposed by Republican State Senator Danny Burgess, was aimed at helping children realize the long-term consequences of their actions online.
Similarly, Republican lawmakers in Congress have proposed legislation that would keep children under 16 off social media platforms altogether. According to Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), who introduced one of these bills earlier this year, protecting children from the negative impacts of social media is akin to protecting them from drinking, smoking, and driving, all of which are activities that are restricted until a certain age.
One of the roadblocks to implementing these measures is how to verify the ages of younger users. However, a recent poll conducted by Parents Defending Education found that over two-thirds of parents are not comfortable with their children using social media platforms like TikTok without supervision, while 68 percent of parents are not comfortable with their child using Facebook without supervision. A majority of parents (63 percent) are also not comfortable with their children using Instagram without parental supervision, while 74 percent of parents with a child in elementary school expressed similar concerns about Snapchat.
According to Nicki Neily, the President and Founder of Parents Defending Education, the role of technology in children’s lives has become a growing concern for American parents over the past several years. This bill is a step in the right direction to address these concerns and protect children from the negative impacts of social media.
As social media continues to permeate every aspect of modern life, the need to protect children from its negative effects has become increasingly pressing. The bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate, which seeks to set a minimum age for children on social media and require parental consent for teenagers, is a critical step in this direction. It is equally critical to remember that this should not only be a government solution, but that parents should be heavily involved in the process as well. In the end, schools should not be driving their children to limit their social media usage; their parents should have taken the lead. The less government involvement is required, the better for us all especially with our children.
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