The state of Utah in the United States has passed new laws to protect minors under the age of 18 from the negative effects of social media. Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed two laws on March 23, 2023, one of which prohibits children from using social media between 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. unless their parents allow it. The second law requires people to prove they are over 18 before joining social media platforms such as TikTok or Instagram. If they are under 18, they will need parental permission to join. Additionally, parents will have access to their children's online accounts, including private messages.
The new laws also prohibit social media companies from advertising to or collecting information from people under 18. These laws will take effect on March 1, 2024, and Utah is the first state in the United States to announce such laws. Governor Cox has stated that the purpose of these laws is to protect children's mental health, which several studies have shown can be negatively impacted by social media. For example, social media has been linked to increased anxiety symptoms and negative body image among children.
While many people agree with the new laws, some are concerned that they could prevent certain groups, such as LGBTQ teens or children in abusive homes, from accessing online information and support. These groups may face unique challenges and rely on social media to connect with others who share similar experiences.
Do you spend much time on social media?
How have your social media habits changed over time?
Have you thought about deleting any of your social media accounts?
Do you know anyone who completely avoids social media?
The more social media we have, the more we think we're connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other. — JR. What are your thoughts on this idea?