top of page

Don’t Grow up Too Fast!

Ron DeSantis Signs New Social Media Policy Into Law

Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

Who hasn’t experienced walking into a restaurant and noticing everyone on their phones instead of engaging with the person across from them? It is the sad reality of the social media-infested world that we exist in today. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that prohibits children under the age of 14 from having social media and any 14 or 15-year-olds must have parental consent in order to utilize social apps. This law establishes Florida as one of the country’s strictest for social media policies. This change, although disappointing to those under the age of 14, is beneficial. It may seem like a loss for young people, but it has been that social media is bad for mental health, creates communication issues and causes everyone to grow up too fast.

The constant barrage of social media has been explored for increasing depression and isolation, a fact made worse in regards to younger teens and pre-teens.Kids between the ages of 12-15 are in developmental stages heightening their vulnerability to social media influences. According to Yale Medicine, a correlation exists between children who use social media and an increase in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and body image issues as well as poor sleep quality. Many influencers, particularly women, edit their appearances creating a false image of themselves that causes young, impressionable students to feel poorly about themselves.

Additionally, social media can lead to potential communication issues in teens. Anyone under the age of 15 is continually developing their social skills and communication skills. Socializing online can lead students to fail to notice body language and facial expressions leading to a decrease in understanding social cues and nonverbal communication. The Child Mind Institute mentions that students miss out on learning what and how to communicate with others in person when they spend all their time on social media. Social media allows students to take extra time in crafting carefully curated responses that in person is too intense for them. If allowed to develop in a communication vacuum, these children may find difficulty forming friendships and partnerships, as well as difficulty in engaging in future employment.

With social media usage, kids are exposed to information that is too mature for them and thus normalizing children’s engagement with  mature trends and  content. Young girls post makeup tutorials and evocative dances and boys repeat  toxic opinions about masculinity and women. This publication has written about  “Sephora Kids,”  a direct and obvious effect of young girls' exposure to social media, beauty ideals, and makeup at an abnormally young age. By allowing young kids to have social media, it's impossible to monitor their content and ensure they are consuming age-appropriate information.

It is true that social media has become a major factor in communication, and young people especially enjoy connecting with others on social media platforms. Social media allows people to show their creative side, which is especially important in a world constantly trying to diminish creativity, and has allowed young people to feel more accepted and welcomed in various communities. However, this connection also creates comparison and puts pressure on users.  These platforms are extremely harmful to the wellbeing of young kids and their involvement can wait.

Young people should be able to wait until their primary development stages are over and they have accepted and grown into themselves more fully to become part of the social media world. This bill allows younger kids to text and call their friends, they just aren’t permitted to use harmful platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Instead, hopefully, this will allow young kids to play outside, with toys, their imagination and overall just be kids.


Follow us on Instagram

Andy Poll

Get involved with Maclay Andalusian by submitting your work as a guest writer!

bottom of page