It seems like there’s a new social media platform popping up every minute. We would name a few but it would likely be replaced by something newer and shinier by the time you’re reading this. Also, truth be told, we fear outing ourselves as unhip to the young’ns who live and breathe all these new social channels.
And it’s those younger users we want to talk about today. Their use of social media is rampant. And that’s not really a good thing. It’s a problem made even worse by social media providers looking to these young users as a target audience.
And, with all things, a problem will only get fixed when it’s no longer avoidable. We think we might finally be coming to that point — enter Instagram Kids.
The world is getting itself into a tizzy over this proposed new platform — as it should. As Facebook prepares to launch this new platform — not one veiled in its attempt to attract usage by kids but one that’s entire stated purpose is to garner tween usage — it is being met with pressure from congressional Democrats and Republicans, along with a host of child development experts and online advocacy groups.
Their argument? A company that can’t be trusted to keep live-streaming suicides off its platform should in no way be trusted to make an app geared specifically toward our children. Agreed.
We’ve long known that social media can negatively affect teens. It can expose them to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people’s lives and peer pressure. Although there are countless studies that prove each one of those, nothing seems to stick to these platforms and the problem not only rolls on but continues to grow as new platforms pop up in search of our young wards.
But, with the ongoing Senate Commerce Subcommittee’s examination of the impact of social media on youth and the company’s response to that impact, we’re hopeful that enough is now finally enough and the need to protect the most vulnerable members of society will finally outweigh the bottom line.