SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators are proposing a bill that puts age restrictions on social media accounts, after the U.S. Surgeon General said 13 is too young.
Under the bill, you’ll have to be at least 13 to make a social media account and then you’ll need parents’ permission until you’re 18. The bill would require social media sites to use age verifications measures to uphold the legislation.
Dr. Matthew Sadof with Baystate Health said while research shows a link between social media and mental health, there is not enough evidence to suggest social media causes poor mental health. However, when it comes to talking to your child about screen time, that conversation should start as soon as they start using devices even if they’re a toddler using your tablet.
“The only thing that we know in terms of data is that families who talk about this more, the children who live in those families tend to have a better sense of mental health than those families who don’t talk about it,” said Dr. Sadof.
He added that you should pay attention to what kind of content your child is looking at online and how often they’re on there as opposed to connecting with people in real life. However, parents should also look at their own relationship with social media and make sure they show that balance in their lives as well.