The technology has improved and enhanced our lives tremendously. It provided expanded security, enhanced communication, and increased information and it will continue to evolve. But is technology always good for us?
Social media is part of the technology that we have today, and it is an integral part of our everyday lives. While social media benefits many people and plays a vital role in enhancing social interaction and promoting business practice. it has drawbacks such as damaging effects on young adults and minors. House Bill 896 introduced by Texas State Representative if passed would prohibit minors in Texas from obtaining social media accounts altogether and ban it completely in this age group requiring users over 18 to prove their age using a photo ID. The bill concern is the impact of social media on children’s’ mental health.
While there are people supporting this bill, others are against it and have concerns about it. Some people argue based on scientific evidence and academic research, social media can be addictive and has negative effects on the children’s and adolescents’ mental health. It is harming the developing brains of children and causing increase in anxiety, depression, body image issues, and suicidal rates. For this reason, this bill is introduced to provide protection to our children the same way other bills provided protection to other issues we faced before such as tobacco use, pornography, alcohol, and drug use.
Others may argue that social media has many benefits, and we cannot blame mental health on social media. There are other reasons than social media affecting mental health. Social media helped young adults during Covid-19 to stay connected, lessened their isolation and enhanced their social interaction. In addition, certain communities can find support through social media. Children and teens can have access to information by using social media which is very important to their learning process and ability to develop.
Many People do not see this bill as a solution. Since technology is not going away, we need to work with it and have parents and not the government take control over. Others see flaws with the bill on a constitutional level and problems with the execution and enforcing this policy with large private companies. No matter if people agree or disagree, we need to do everything we can to protect our children from the negative threats they face currently.