A-list star Jennifer Garner doesn’t allow her children to use social media and has no plans of backing down.
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Garner, 50, recently told “TODAY” she gave her kids, Violet, 17, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 11, a request: prove social media has a scientific benefit or be precluded from using it.
“I just said to my kids, ‘Tell me, show me the articles that prove that social media is good for teenagers, and then we’ll have the conversation,'” Garner said. “Find scientific evidence that matches what I have that says that it’s not good for teenagers, then we’ll chat.”
In the end, plenty of research shows social media has detrimental effects on kids, meaning Garner’s children can’t possibly furnish the results she requested.
So, the “Yes Day” actor’s kids have been off social media — and her eldest is actually happy about it.
Watch Garner explain:
“My eldest is grateful,” Garner said of her 17-year-old. “It’s a long haul.”
The celebrity has two more kids to go, but hopes to continue keeping them off social media platforms.
“I have a couple more to go, so just knock on wood,” Garner said. “We’ll see if I really hang in there.”
The actress’ comments come amid increased concerns over social media’s impact on young people. Media analyst Dr. Ted Baehr told CBN News in 2021 that social media is causing serious issues.
“Facebook is such a dominant force,” Baehr said. “These are serious issues. It gets people hooked and it plays into their fears and frustrations.”
He cited the many studies shedding light on these problems. That same year, reports emerged that Instagram is well aware of the negative impact the app can have on teen girls’ self-esteem.
“After studying the app’s impact on teenager users’ mental health over the last three years, researchers for the company found 32% of teenage girls who ‘felt bad about their bodies’ said the problem was worsened by Instagram,” Faithwire reported at the time. “In one study of teens in the U.S. and U.K., Facebook found that more than 40% of Instagram users who reported feeling ‘unattractive’ said the feeling began on the social media app.”
In a bold move earlier this year, Seattle Public Schools and the Kent School District filed a complaint against the companies behind TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, accusing the platforms of “creating a youth mental health crisis.”
“The goal is not to eliminate social media, but to change how these companies operate and force them to take responsibility,” Seattle Public Schools said in a statement. “We are asking these popular companies to maximize their efforts to safeguard students, who are their most vulnerable consumers.”
Read more about the complaint here.
The lawsuit also comes as Utah recently signed into law restrictions on children using social media.
The law, which takes effect March 1, 2024, will include a curfew for minors disallowing them from using accounts from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. each day.
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