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Good Question Podcast: How can we talk to our children about social media?

In those same Facebook whistleblower hearings, officials said the company’s platforms have been especially harmful to children
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Social media has just become a part of our everyday lives, even for children.

In those same Facebook whistleblower hearings, officials said the company’s platforms have been especially harmful to children.

“Engagement based ranking on Instagram can lead children from very innocuous topics like healthy recipes to anorexia, promoting content in a very short period of time,” Facebook Whistleblower France Haugen said.

So what can we do about that?

“They have to make sure that the next generation is just as engaged on Instagram as the current one and the way they’ll do that is by making sure that children establish habits before they have good self-regulation,” Haugen said.

And something else she mentioned is that parents don’t quite understand how to talk about this with their children.

Many older adults didn’t grow up with social media.

“So, telling our kids to get off their phones or “just stop using Instagram” is usually met with an eye roll,” Haugen said.

What’s the best strategy to talk about this?

On Your Side Tonight’s Alex Giles asked Jaren Doby, a licensed clinical social worker.

“You bring up a very important topic that happens in households every day, like being able to take social media away is, it’s a cause for like serious concern or even starting a war in a lot of households,” Doby said.

“But it starts earlier than that. I think that it’s important because it’s about being able to establish rules and regulations, being able to establish a culture within your own household as to what it is that is acceptable and what is not, because if it gets to the point where it looks like an immense amount of time is spent with being able to utilize social media, and then having the conversation about decreasing that timeframe.”

“The eye roll, the teeth sucking over. That that comes from being able to be environmentally right and not be able to establish those particular kinds of boundaries. So, we have to be able to talk about these things, establish boundaries often.”

“It’s going to take being able to stay on top of it, change the culture kind and deal with the uncomfortable element, right of making it a more positive element of why it is that you’re making this change.”

“And there are some conversations you should be having when you notice certain things or behaviors.”

“They could be a sign that something is going on.”

Jared Doby outlines those, and he talks about when is the right time to let your child use social media in this week’s episode of WBTV’s Good Question Podcast.

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