Updated: Jun 25
The State of Utah passed a pair of bills last Thursday that severely limit the use of Social Media by children under the age of 18. Parents would have to give digital permission for their kid to be able to sign into platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and others, nor can they log on between 10:30 PM and 6:30 AM, which presumably is designed to help them get some sleep. It’s the first legislation like this in the country, but most likely not the last.
Both bills will certainly be challenged in court with opponents citing invasion of privacy and freedom of speech issues.
I understand lawmakers’ impulse to do something. Teens are struggling with issues like cyber bullying, online grooming, graphic content, hate speech, and they're killing themselves at an alarming rate, but is this the right approach? Should social medial behavior be strictly up to parents to regulate?
Well, minors can’t legally consume tobacco, pot, or alcohol or go to R-rated movies before a certain age, and given the dangers associated with the intertwining of social media and young minds, it ought to be restricted as well.