Is Kids-only Social Media a Good Idea or Mental Health Threat?

Photo courtesy of bruce mars/Unsplash

Parents across the United States may disagree about if and when kids should have social media accounts, but they’re coming together against Facebook’s plans for a 13-and-under, kids-only platform.

Critics cited known digital threats like sexual predators and cyberbullying when urging Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to cancel his plans for Instagram Youth, a child-focused version of the popular photo- and video-sharing app. Executives classified Instagram Youth as an “H1 priority” in March.

Public resistance began following Zuckerberg’s statements during misinformation hearings on Capitol Hill. Nonprofits and child safety advocates gathered more than 180,000 signatures on three petitions, which they sent to Facebook ahead of its annual stakeholders meeting.

Josh Golin, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s executive director, said in a statement:

“Teens and even adults on Instagram struggle with the never-ending focus on appearance, the relentless fear of missing out, promotion of influencer culture, and the pressure to collect likes. Instagram for young children is among the greediest, most tone-deaf, and wrong-headed ideas ever to emerge from Silicon Valley.”

It’s an ongoing battle for the Next Generation’s decisions and mental health.

“A lot of social media is marketing, whether it’s self-marketing or business marketing. There’s a lot of psychology behind marketing, and different tactics [used] to influence behavior,” says Hannah Harrison, Child Sponsorship and Social Media Coordinator for Set Free Ministries.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray people who are confused about their identity will find clarity and peace in God’s truth.
  • Ask the Lord to protect children from harm online.