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Expert suggests banning of children from social media

todayMarch 28, 2024 58

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Social media expert, Emma Sadleir, says the danger of social media is underrated and needs to be addressed.

Her remarks come after a Florida Governor in the US, Ron DeSantis, signed a bill that bans children aged under 14 from social media platforms and requires 14 and 15-year-olds to get parental consent.

Speaking to YNews, Sadlier says this bill should be an eye opener for parents about how dangerous social media is for young people all over the world.

One of the reasons the bill cites for the proposed social media ban is the impact the digital platforms have on the mental health of young people.

The bill also makes it a law for social media platforms to terminate the accounts of people under the age of 14 and those of teenagers who are under 16 and don’t have parental consent.

Hailing the push as a good move, Sandlier also highlighted how bad the situation is here in South Africa.

She wants cellphones banned at primary schools as a means of protection from the inappropriate material the devices expose them to.

 

The social media expert is also advocating for legislation on this.

Critics of the proposed Florida bill say the legislation violates free speech and seek to take away parents’ rights to decide on their children’s presence on social media.

 

Sandlier, however, believes that the harm the scourge causes outweighs some of the concerns raised.

She says she hopes that the proposed US legislation spark a debate in South Africa about ways to tackle the challenges that come with children using social media.

Research, however, shows that there are some positive effects social media has on young people.

It can help teenagers to: 

  • Learn to express themselves.
  • Connect with other teens locally and across the globe (which should be done in a safe manner).
  • Learn how to deal with challenging life situations and mental health conditions by seeing how other young people deal.

Some scholars are also advocating for the limiting and monitoring of children’s use of the digital platforms. They also urge parents to have realistic talks with their children about the good and the bad about social media.

 

 

Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris

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