Opinion | Should Kids Be Kept Off Social Media? (2024)


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  • ‘Arguing Both Sides of the Law’ on Declassifying Documents
  • Good Careers in the Restaurant Industry
  • The Empty Society
  • Caveat Emptor, Crypto Investors

To the Editor:

Re “It Was a Mistake to Let Kids Onto Social Media Sites. Here’s What to Do Now” (Opinion guest essay, nytimes.com, Aug. 5):

Yuval Levin argues that it’s a mistake to let kids onto social media sites. I would argue that it is more of a mistake to let adults onto social media sites. Aren’t they the ones who are supposed to be doing their jobs and making the world run? It’s no surprise the world is falling apart when these adults are glued to their phones all day.

In addition, most of the negative and bad content online is created by adults. It floods the internet, causing sadness, confusion and so much chaos. We kids just want to chat and make each other laugh. Why should we be the ones who have our fun taken away?

I think Mr. Levin and the rest of the grown-ups should get off their phones and tablets and get back to work.

Clay Kryst
Los Angeles
The writer is 16 years old.

To the Editor:

Social media is definitely damaging for kids under a certain age, and many issues are definitely exacerbated on social media. However, what we need to do now is more complex than just keeping kids off social media.

Kids are on social media right now, whether people like it or not. As a teen, I am definitely “acutely aware” that social media has the potential to be very harmful. I am also “acutely aware” that if more teens were taught how to handle social media and the multitude of pressures that come with it (and could access mental health help easily if they needed it), the damage of social media would be lessened.

Focusing on future steps to keep young children off social media could potentially have an impact. More important, however, there must be urgent action to help the kids who are currently on social media (or will be soon). Everyone, no matter where you stand on this issue, should be pushing for increased education around social media pressures and how to manage them and initiatives that make mental health care more accessible for teens.

Rushaad Mistry
Foster City, Calif.
The writer is a high school senior.

To the Editor:

Yuval Levin’s suggestion is an interesting one, but experience tells us that kids are savvy at getting around age restrictions and safety guards. Kids today are forming connections using technology and growing up with a smartphone in their hands, so we must meet the moment by taking a holistic approach to keeping them safe online.

We need to ensure that social media platforms are designed to protect children from bad actors. And we must support parents by providing them with tools to have effective communication with their kids about online safety. Age limits alone will not take the place of these two fundamental elements.

Research shows that parents shy away from having difficult conversations about safety topics. For example, one recent survey shows that while the majority of parents have spoken with their kids about being safe on social media generally, less than a third have talked directly about sharing and resharing nude selfies.

In short, parents need support so they can feel confident having early and judgment-free conversations with their kids. Platforms need to be proactive in designing their platforms with child safety in mind. And youth need access to modern, relevant education on these tough topics to reduce shame and create a safety net.

Julie Cordua
Los Angeles
The writer is chief executive of Thorn, a nonprofit that builds technology and programs to defend children from sexual abuse.

‘Arguing Both Sides of the Law’ on Declassifying Documents

To the Editor:

On July 25, 2017, The New York Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking to compel disclosure by the C.I.A. of records pertaining to a covert program on arming and training rebel forces in Syria. The Times argued that President Donald Trump had declassified the records when he referred to them in a post on Twitter.

The Trump administration fought against disclosing the records, arguing that Mr. Trump’s tweet did not declassify the records. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled for Mr. Trump and against The Times: “Because declassification, even by the President, must follow established procedures.”

Yet now, Mr. Trump and his cohort are contending that he had the ability to declassify things at will. Even if one buys into that argument, there is no proof that Mr. Trump ever declassified the documents found at Mar-a-Lago. This doesn’t surprise me at all, because arguing both sides of the law depending only on its political effect has become the paradigm of the Republican Party.

But Donald Trump has still not answered why those documents were at his club. They were not his to take. They belong to the American people.

Fred Polvere
Yonkers, N.Y.

Good Careers in the Restaurant Industry


To the Editor:

Re “Hulu’s ‘The Bear’ and the Restaurant Industry’s Long Overdue Reckoning,” by Saru Jayaraman (Opinion guest essay, nytimes.com, Aug. 7), which asserts that the restaurant industry pays inadequate wages:

This guest essay is misleading and unnecessarily provocative. Today’s restaurant and food service industry is innovative and competitive, and provides unparalleled opportunities for employees from every background. As the nation’s most diverse industry, restaurants offer a chance for success and a career for life to everyone.

In the current economic climate, earning potential is a key driver for every employee. Earning a tipped income allows restaurant employees to bring home a median of $27 an hour, with some earning as much as $41 an hour. When this system has been threatened, tipped workers have fought to keep it and have stopped every effort to eliminate the tipped minimum wage in the last 20 years.

Well-compensated employees provide great customer experiences, and there are many different compensation models that work well for companies. More important, these team members are proud of their work.

The National Restaurant Association was originally formed in 1919 to defend restaurants against egg brokers engaged in collusion and price fixing. Today, we continue our work of serving every restaurant and providing a pathway to success for every employee.

Michelle Korsmo
The writer is the president and C.E.O. of the National Restaurant Association and C.E.O. of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

The Empty Society


To the Editor:

Re “The Medium Really Is the Message,” by Ezra Klein (column, Aug. 14):

The stupefying effect of mass entertainment and popular culture has laid waste to our brains. Just as muscle strength is maintained by the principle of “use it or lose it,” so are the mental operations of the brain for critical, original thinking and for creativity.

Much of our entertainment is a time filler. Passive watching of entertainment and celebrity worship deaden the drive to make something of one’s life. The aloneness of contemporary society has fostered the perverse effects of social media, including disinformation and our current culture wars.

We have only ourselves to blame, not the medium, as we fiddle with the remote and go channel surfing. Life, instead of being really lived, has become a spectator sport.

Ronald Kallen
Highland Park, Ill.

Caveat Emptor, Crypto Investors

To the Editor:

Re “Investors Seek Return of Crypto” (Business, Aug. 19):

I just cannot feel one iota of sympathy for those individuals who invested money in crypto currencies. Perhaps the visages of smiling celebrities hawking a product with no practical purpose or reasonable method of analyzing investment potential temporarily seduced them into this fantasy of quick profits. Caveat emptor, just like all other investment opportunities.

Stephen Green


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Opinion | Should Kids Be Kept Off Social Media? (2024)


Why you should keep your kids off social media? ›

Posting on Social Media Can Invade Your Child's Privacy

They may start to feel embarrassed about the content their parents post about them on social media, especially when it comes to early childhood anecdotes, funny photos, and updates on developmental and behavioral challenges.

Should kids be on social media? ›

Due to the various dangers and effects of social media, it is necessary that parents restrict their children from using social media until at least 13 years old. At that age, they may introduce those apps to their children so the process becomes more gradual and easier to monitor.

Why should kids under 14 have social media? ›

Feeling friendly. Social media can also help in boosting social interaction among kids - it's a more comfortable environment where children can initiate new relationships without feeling awkward and anxious. Social platforms can help kids make friends and enable them to build more familiarity with other children.

Why should kids not be on the Internet? ›

Parents of children who are getting excessive screen time could see changes in behavior as well as impacts on their developing brains. While the Internet is an incredible tool, spending too much time online or in front of screens, and not enough time being active can lead to: Childhood obesity. Psychological problems.

How social media affect kids? ›

We found that the effects range from spending increasing amounts of time online, behaviour change due to anticipated judgement from peers, and sensory overload, to more serious cognitive and emotional consequences such as attention problems, stress and anxiety.

Why you shouldn't use social media? ›

The more time spent on social media can lead to cyberbullying, social anxiety, depression, and exposure to content that is not age appropriate. Social Media is addicting. When you're playing a game or accomplishing a task, you seek to do it as well as you can.

What are Negative Impact of social media? ›

Social media harms

However, social media use can also negatively affect teens, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people's lives and peer pressure. The risks might be related to how much social media teens use.

How safe is social media? ›

When you post personal information on social media you make yourself, your loved ones and even your physical belongings a target for local and online criminals. Avoid posting names, phone numbers, addresses, school and work locations, and other sensitive information as text or in a photo.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media? ›

Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media
Pros of Social MediaCons of Social Media
People Can Connect Through Social MediaReduces Face-to-face Communication Skills
Good Source of Up-to-Date InformationFake News
Social Media Is Beneficial to EducationPeople's Addiction to Social Media
7 more rows
14 Jun 2022

How does media affect children's behavior? ›

Kids who use media in their bedrooms often don't get enough sleep at night. Media use also can expose kids to cyberbullying, which has been linked to depression and suicide. And media use can distract kids from important tasks, interfere with homework time, and hurt school performance.

How does media affect child development? ›

High media usage in children is related to poorer cognition, language, and social–emotional skills. More frequent parent–child interactions are associated with better body motor, cognition, language, and social–emotional skills in children.

How much time do kids spend online? ›

On average, daily screen use went up among tweens (ages 8 to 12) to five hours and 33 minutes from four hours and 44 minutes, and to eight hours and 39 minutes from seven hours and 22 minutes for teens (ages 13 to 18).

What are the dangers of social media essay? ›

If the use of social media is not monitored, it can lead to grave consequences. It is harmful because it invades your privacy like never before. The oversharing happening on social media makes children a target for predators and hackers. It also leads to cyberbullying which affects any person significantly.

Should kids have social media pros and cons? ›

Social Media For Teens: Pros And Cons
  • 10/10 Pro: It's Good For Their Education.
  • 9/10 Con: It Gets Addicting.
  • 8/10 Pro: It's A Great Way To Learn Some Skills.
  • 7/10 Con: Teens Sometimes Think It Defines Them.
  • 6/10 Pro: It Can Teach Them About Money.
  • 5/10 Con: It Can Bring Unwanted Attention.
  • 4/10 Pro: It Enhances Creativity.
10 Nov 2019

Is social media bad for child development? ›

Too much time on social media can lead to bullying, depression, and anxiety. Spending more than four hours a day online significantly increases a child's risk of becoming hyperactive and inattentive, and decreases feelings of self-worth. Social media may be one of the main factors affecting children's mental health.

Is social media safe for youth? ›

Social media can also pose risks. For your child, these risks include: being exposed to inappropriate or upsetting content, like mean aggressive, violent or sexual comments or images. uploading inappropriate content, like embarrassing or provocative photos or videos of themselves or others.

How does social media affect children's brains? ›

Studies have clearly shown that social media use has many negative health consequences in children, including a dramatic increase in their tendency towards depression and anxiety. Since the inception of social media, trends in suicide have increased alarmingly in all pediatric age groups.

Why do people go off social media? ›

You'll strengthen your face-to-face relationships

“Pulling back on social media and spending more time on face-to-face interactions really helps your relationships, and relationships are really one of the most important factors in wellbeing and mental health,” Cantor says.

Is deleting social media good? ›

An unhealthy relationship with social media can harm your mental health. As such, deleting your accounts is something worth considering. It might seem like your problems will magically disappear after removing your online presence.

Can you be happy without social media? ›

You can live without social media, and it's probably for the best. However, it is an adjustment. You'll miss out on certain things, but you're also going to be happier and more focused because you'll be less distracted and stressed. You'll also be more productive and fulfilled.

How do I get my kids off social media? ›

Parenting tips for parents in case their teens are social media addicts
  1. Make sure teens have a daily schedule. ...
  2. Get teens cellphones when they charge them at night. ...
  3. Set Time limit on their usage of digital devices. ...
  4. Ask kids to give their cell phone password. ...
  5. Set parental control on teens digital devices. ...
  6. Conclusion:
2 Oct 2019

Does social media harm mental health? ›

However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Social media may promote negative experiences such as: Inadequacy about your life or appearance.

How many hours should a teenager spend on social media? ›

How much time spent on social media is too much time? A 2019 survey found that kids between 12-15 years old, spending more than three hours a day on social media were at a higher risk of poor mental health.

What are the positive and negative impacts of social media on teenagers? ›

Social media use may expose teens to peer pressure, cyberbullying, and increased mental health risk. But, social media can also connect isolated teens and help them find supportive networks. Parents can set limitations and communicate openly with teens about healthy social media use.

What are the pros and cons of social media? ›

Pros & Cons of Social Media
Put yourself out there in a good wayPosting inappropriate statuses/pictures
Connect with students in other educational systemsMaking people feel bad about themselves
Make new friends/communicate or connect with old friends/familyCyberbullying
15 more rows

Is social media safe for youth? ›

Social media can also pose risks. For your child, these risks include: being exposed to inappropriate or upsetting content, like mean aggressive, violent or sexual comments or images. uploading inappropriate content, like embarrassing or provocative photos or videos of themselves or others.

Do kids have social media? ›

The report highlights a 17 percent increase in screen use among teens and tweens in the last two years — more than in the four years prior.

Is social media good or bad? ›

Although there are important benefits, social media can also provide platforms for bullying and exclusion, unrealistic expectations about body image and sources of popularity, normalization of risk-taking behaviors, and can be detrimental to mental health.

How social media Affects students Education? ›

Past studies have found that students who spend more time on social media sites are likely to demonstrate poor academic performance. This is because they spend time chatting online and making friends on social media sites instead of reading books.

How social media affects our everyday life? ›

Multiple studies have shown that unlimited use of social media causes stress, bad moods and negative mental health. Many people wake up in the morning and immediately check their Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter.

What is the best social media? ›

On this page
  • The top 20 social media sites of 2022.
  • Facebook — 2.9 billion MAUs.
  • YouTube — 2.2 billion MAUs.
  • WhatsApp — 2 billion MAUs.
  • Instagram — 2 billion MAUs.
  • WeChat — 1.26 billion MAUs.
  • TikTok — 1 billion MAUs.
  • Sina Weibo — 573 million MAUs.

How many children use social media? ›

Surveys show that ninety percent of teens ages 13-17 have used social media. Seventy five percent report having at least one active social media profile, and 51% report visiting a social media site at least daily.

How much time do kids spend on media? ›

SAN FRANCISCO – A landmark report released today by Common Sense Media finds that teenagers (ages 13-18) use an average of nine hours of entertainment media per day and that tweens (ages 8-12) use an average of six hours a day, not including time spent using media for school or homework.

What are 2 negatives of social media? ›

However, social media use can also negatively affect teens, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people's lives and peer pressure. The risks might be related to how much social media teens use.

How can social media affect a person? ›

When people look online and see they're excluded from an activity, it can affect thoughts and feelings, and can affect them physically. A 2018 British study tied social media use to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep, which is associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance.

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