Let’s be honest. All things considered? Social media is pretty bad for you. There are real, tangible effects we’ve seen studied from numerous scientific points. And yet, we still consume.
Of course, that’s the individual’s choice. At the end of the day, if you’re a grown adult, do whatever you want, use social media or don’t, it’s up to you.
However, there is one group where that choice is wholly unnecessary. Children. There is no room on social media for anyone under the age of 15. Any access to platforms like Twitter (a toxic waste of data that none of us can ever really escape) or TikTok (at best, a poorly-moderated platform for 5% funny content, 25% political rhetoric, 70% softcore or borderline porn.) is catastrophically harmful for young minds.
Even Facebook is terrible for people, especially young children. Data Privacy is already a myth of the past thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s data sales, and that loss of privacy is doubly harmful for children.
Even with proper education about online safety, children and teenagers’ brains aren’t fully developed. They will make mistakes. And those mistakes should be offline, because if they are online they can prove to me vastly worse for them.
An offline mistake is typically getting a little hurt, or getting grounded. An online mistake could lead young children into any number of terrible places. A harsh drop into neo-fascism before they’re old enough to comprehend what they’re being told, or any number of encounters with pedophiles, or just happening to see graphic footage out of a warzone, or a mental health victim taking their own life.
Any number of things can just happen on the internet, and without any real and effective way of keeping that away from children, the best move is to keep them away.
- For The Collegian Editorial Board