Social media platforms could soon have warning labels for kids

Author: Camila Pereria Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

Social media is a Hotspot for entertainment and interaction.

So much so, that rising eighth grader Mason Berg just wont let his phone go.

“Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram, Its kind of just makes me feel like entertained.” said Mason.

Mason goes on these apps for hours and hours each day, even with the restrictions his mom Andrea has set after seeing his obsession.

“Being a kid, it’s important for them to connect. So, there’s a lot of value in that.” said Andrea, “But as a parent, there’s a lot of frustration, when it’s hard to get them to just set it down for a moment or two. It’s that boredom- scroll. That’s the problem.”

Mason isn’t the only kid glued to his platforms.

“Children 8- to 12 years old, are on screen time for five hours and 33 minutes per day. And children 13- to 18-year-old are averaging eight hours and 39 minutes per day. And that’s not including the time that they’re at school, when they’re when they’re supposed to be using it for educational purposes. So that’s time when they’re on social media when they’re playing games, which is just obscene,” said Jason Sabo, a pediatric development and behavioral specialist at Lee Health.

Sabo says all this time on social media can have a damaging effect on a child’s mind.

Research shows it’s contributing to a growing mental-health crisis among young people.

“Social media is by far the biggest issue that I see. You know, it’s intertwined in so many different things, and it affects the children in so many different ways. I think it’s super important for parents to be on top of this and really be aware of what’s going on,” said Sabo.

That’s why on Monday, the US surgeon general called for warning labels on social media platforms.

Warning labels similar to those on alcohol and tobacco products to remind parents that social media has not been proved safe.

How would concerned mothers like Andrea feel about the labels?

“I think it wouldn’t hurt. I don’t know if people would actually acknowledge it. It would be you know; everyone thumbs through the agreements and, you know, agrees and checks and goes to the next page… I think it’s important. Will it carry any weight? Most likely not. But maybe it will get someone’s attention?” said Andrea

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