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New Florida law bans children from using social media

Reporter: Jeff Wagner

(CBS) - A new Florida law bans younger children from having social media accounts.

The issue has many parents questioning at what age should kids start using social media and should the government have a say?

Having a drink, and driving a car, all are well-known for their legal age restrictions.

Social media is a bit more of the Wild West.

Florida's governor is trying to reign it in. The state's new law bans children under 14 years old from social media.

Kids 14-15 need parental consent. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok would also be required to close accounts that don't meet the age restrictions.

"14 is what was recommended as a healthy place to start," said Dr. Sarah Jerstad, Children's Minnesota Clinical Director of Psychological Services.

Sarah Jerstad is the clinical director of psychological services at Children's Minnesota and got the 14-year-old recommendation from a study done by the surgeon general.

"It has to do with brain development. So what we know is that at age 14, we're able to start that process of reasoning," said Dr. Jerstad.

She says 14-year-olds also better prioritize how they spend their time and hopefully have established hobbies or relationships.

"Because one of the concerns is that if social media becomes permanent so early, it may displace some of those other healthy activities," explained Dr. Jerstad.

In that surgeon general's study, teenagers reported spending an average of 3.5 hours on social media a day.

However, age restrictions are determined. Dr. Jerstad says parents should set a good example for their children and put the phone down and do activities together without devices.

The Surgeon General’s study also found that nearly half of teens said social media made them feel worse about their body image.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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