How Old Should Kids Be Before They Use Social Media?

How Old Should Kids Be Before They Use Social Media?

A new law in Florida says that kids younger than 13 can’t have social media accounts. Some parents in Minnesota want our state to do the same.

How old should kids be before they use social networks? Should the government have a say? That’s a good question.

It is well known that you have to be a certain age to drink alcohol and drive a car.

Facebook is a bit like the Wild West, but Florida’s governor is trying to keep it in check.

A new law in the state says that kids younger than 14 can’t use social media. Kids ages 14 to 15 need permission from their parents. Social media sites like Instagram and TikTok would also have to delete accounts of people who are too young.

When should kids start using social networks?

Lily Reilly, 14, is Bill Reilly’s grandchild. “My first thought is 15,” he said. She thinks 12 is the right age, since that’s when she got her first smartphone.

Dionne Meisterling, a mother of five, said, “My 14-year-old doesn’t have social media.”

Doctor Sarah Jerstad, who is in charge of mental health services at Children’s Minnesota, said that 14 is a good age to start using social media. A study by the U.S. Surgeon General on social media and the mental health of young people gave her that age range.

What makes 14 years old seem like the right age?

“It has to do with brain growth.” “We know that we can start to think things through when we are 14 years old,” Jerstad said.

She also said that 14-year-olds can better plan how they spend their time and should already have hobbies or relationships.

“One of the concerns is that if social media becomes permanent so early, it may displace some of those other healthy activities,” he said.

Teenagers who took part in the Surgeon General’s study said they spent three and a half hours a day on social media on average. Fourteen to seventeen-year-olds also say it made them feel worse about their bodies.

“There are so many unknowns for what social media gives your child access to,” Meisterling said.

“Some people can suck you in and show you some weird stuff on the internet,” said Lily. “You just need to know when to stop talking to them.”

Should the government set age limits, or should parents do that?

“I am not sure. “I don’t mind too much help from the government,” Bill Reilly said. “Not necessarily mandates, but guidance.”

That’s what Meisterling says. The structure can be helpful, even if it comes from the government.

There’s nothing wrong with having someone tell you that you need to set some limits. “And if parents don’t think of that on their own, here’s a reason for them to,” she said.

Jerstad said it wouldn’t surprise her if more states passed laws limiting the age of minors. However, she also said there are other ways to make rules and laws. Policies can be made by school systems. Plan how your kids will use social media so that everyone is on the same page. Even parents can work together on this.

“They might look at the content that’s coming from these companies and organizations and say, let’s take a look at that, and let’s see if we can put some restrictions on the kind of content, put some responsibility in the hands of the organizations,” she added.

Jerstad wants parents to talk to their kids before they set up an account, no matter what route they take.

“We want the parent to say, ‘I’m with you.'” “If something is bothering or confusing you, I’m here to talk about it, this is the time for us to talk,” Jerstad said. “And then they can also model to their kid, ‘I’m gonna put my phone down and have a conversation with you or let’s go outside together and do something’.”

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