Not So Social Anymore: Why the Ban?

Article headline/byline alongside background image of social media likes coming out of a cell phone in someones hand
Article headline/byline alongside background image of social media “likes” coming out of a cell phone in someone’s hand

Florida has been making incredibly interesting decisions regarding lawmaking, especially decisions concerning the school system. This law, however, applies to daily life in Florida.

One of the most recent changes made was banning social media accounts for anyone under the age of 16 years old. Before, there was a push for phones to be banned in schools, so students would not be able to spend time on social media during school hours. Now it seems anyone under 16 will not be able to spend time on social media at all.

The main reason the senate has opted to take away social media privileges from this age group specifically is, according to the Tampa Bay Times: “Social media platforms target kids similarly to how Big Tobacco did with their harmful, addictive products. And our kids deserve similar legal protections.” Essentially, social media is a harmful, addictive media that can harm children in the long run.

Tampa Bay Times also reports that social media can be harmful to a child’s mental health.

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This is definitely not an unpopular opinion. Many people agree that social media can be harmful to anyone’s mental health, and I do agree.


Is a ban the best decision?

While there are dangers to social media, especially when it comes to children with unlimited access to it, there are positives to it.

Mia Santiago, a junior at Coral Springs High School says: “…I feel like social media does kinda [sic] shape you for the real world, though… It kinda prepares you to know a little bit more about the world and it exposes you to… the realness and how truly messed up the world is.”

Some may argue that so much exposure is too much for a child. They would be right, seeing videos about extreme violence or explicit material would mess them up in a way that is essentially life-altering.

However, who says that those under sixteen can’t have limited access to social media? I personally feel that sixteen is too old for someone to just start being on social media. I feel around thirteen or fourteen would be a more suitable age.

Around those ages, children are entering high school. In middle school, children are insecure and awkward enough without social media. Now, kids are bullying each other over whether or not they own Stanley Cups. Adding social media into the mix would make things worse.

In high school, you start to figure out more about yourself. This is around the age of thirteen to fourteen for a freshman. Social media can be seen as a more positive thing if viewed this way: People can find platforms and communities that are accepting of them, maybe when no one else is.

These communities can shape someone in a more positive way (depending on the community). I know that without social media, I might not be the person I am today. If I had not found the communities I did, I would more than likely feel much worse about myself.

Those communities felt like a home in a way, with little judgment. It felt like a safe space. I will admit not all of it was as glorious as the rest of it. However, with restrictions on children’s social media, they can avoid harmful communities, or communities they are a bit too young to be involved with.


How do other students feel?

Jenny, a senior at Coral Springs High School, says: “I don’t think it’s a bad idea. I think the age range should be a little bit lower… more like a fifteen-year-old and up, because fifteen is kinda [sic] that midpoint between middle school to high school transition where children and people should start to mature and be exposed to more things.”

Sienna Tang, a junior at Coral Springs High agrees and says that a ban on social media for younger ages should be the case.

Both of these students agree that if a ban seems too much, age restrictions are also a good solution. (Jenny) also states, “…maybe not an entire ban, but there could be modifications for each age range, like restrictions, so that way… little ones can just have Cocomelon… and things that would be educational whether they like it or not.”

I do feel a ban is a bit much. I also do understand where the Senate is coming from; they wish to prevent children from seeing things that they shouldn’t.

However, if parents were more mindful of their child’s internet presence, the risk of seeing inappropriate content could be minimalized. In short, parents should parent.

Tang describes the issue best: “It is actually the parent’s faults sometimes, because they give the child the phone and social media and they give them unlimited access to this type of information and then blame the app for causing their kids to become depressed. It’s like giving a kid a candy and expecting them not to eat it.”

However, I feel since we as a society are shifting towards a more digital world, completely stopping a child from having any social media presence would be in a way, keeping them under a rock.

Ignorance is bliss until it isn’t: until said child enters the real world with no idea what their interests are, or how anything works. An online presence is unavoidable, and kids will find a way to obtain one. It seems authority doesn’t learn that bans only fuel rebellion.

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  • K

    Kimora ParkerFeb 26, 2024 at 12:35 pm

    I Ike how they add in the students from Coral Springs opinion about the ban on social media for certain students.

  • D

    DavinFeb 26, 2024 at 7:13 am

    I feel like the ban should be there, but should be limited to a certain extent to have young children, who are easily influenced, to not have as much access as a teenager.

  • J

    jimFeb 21, 2024 at 11:12 am

    I feel like the debate over social media might never end