Social Media is BAD for Kids… or is it?

Social media in moderation

Now, we’re not suggesting that social media is completely harmless, but are we seeing an over-reaction?

Legislative and senior figures in health, government, and education are increasingly vocal on this issue. Is the harm serious enough to warrant a ban, or is regulation sufficient?

Key Concerns

  1. Studies show a link between social media use and higher rates of anxiety and depression in children, especially those spending over three hours daily on social media.
  2. Using social media before bed disrupts sleep patterns due to blue light affecting melatonin production, leading to poorer sleep quality and shorter duration.
  3. Excessive social media use is linked to shorter attention spans and lower academic performance. Frequent checking of social media correlates with attention problems and poorer academic results.
  4. Social media can be addictive, impairing impulse control. Excessive use reduces the ability to concentrate and make thoughtful decisions.
  5. Social media exposes children to cyberbullying and unrealistic social comparisons, causing emotional distress, isolation, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts.
  6. Platforms like Instagram promote unrealistic body images, harming self-esteem and body perception, leading to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviours.

So that’s it. Social media is the devil’s works and must be banned. Immediately.

Balancing the Perspective

On the surface, the evidence seems compelling. However, most issues arise from overuse and inappropriate use, rather than social media itself. This mirrors past alarms over violence in films, video games like Pac-Man, graphic comics, TV, broken homes, latch-key kids, school bullying, Dungeons and Dragons, binge drinking, helicopter parenting, online dating, heavy metal music (especially played backwards!), woke culture, poverty, ultra-processed diets, lack of retirement planning, and even Elvis on stage.

None of these were banned, and many causation myths have been debunked.

Living in the modern world can be stressful but also liberating. Should we get stressed out over end-of-days warnings from a bunch of boomers? Probably not. The key is making better life choices and, as your grandma probably says, “everything in moderation.”

It’s not the state’s role to legislate every aspect of our lives; we should take personal responsibility for our actions and welfare.

Kids might not always make the best choices, so they should be guided by their parents and peer groups. Societal issues will always exist, but we need to be aware and make good decisions ourselves, rather than relying on the government to dictate how we live our lives.