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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Young Adolescents Should Not Be on Social Media

Alessandra Ashford
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning children under 14 from having social media accounts without parent permission. While many teens are upset about this new law and find it restricting, it is a step in the right direction toward providing more internet safety for minors.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB3 on March 25, banning children under the age of 14 from making social media platforms. This bill makes it so that children require parental permission to open a social media account. The majority of the argument surrounding the implementation of this law is that children do not have the ability to realize that they are being manipulated into addictive and harmful technologies and require guidance from adults. This law accomplishes just that, it allows parents to more effectively oversee the social media usage of their children. 

Social media is a free-reign territory for predators and bullies, and every child has a target on their back by opening social media accounts. 


This bill also makes it so that social media companies are required to delete all accounts belonging to children under 14. If they fail to do so, these companies potentially could be sued on behalf of the child and could be liable to $50,000 per child. 

There have been multiple studies of the addictiveness of social media and its effects on children. A recent study made by the Journal of the American Medical Association Network reports that teens who use social media more than three hours per day may be at increased risk for mental health issues. The pandemic has caused an increase in anxiety and depression, partly because of the increased use of social media by teenagers. The grasp that technology has on children has become debilitating. Young teenagers cannot go a long period of time without using their phones, addicted to the dopamine rush that social media provides.

This bill introduces a way for parents in Florida to grasp some control over their children on social media, something that parents worldwide have been searching for. While this bill may seem extremely limiting for teens, parents have a responsibility to protect their children from the vastly unknown and dark territory of social media.  

  An alarming amount of children are harmed or at risk of being harmed every day online, whether to their knowledge or not. A report made by the Child Crime Prevention and Safety Center states that an estimated 500,000 online predators are active each day. The FBI has stated that over 50% of children who are sexually exploited online are between the ages of 12 and 15. Social media is a free-reign territory for predators and bullies, and every child has a target on their back by opening social media accounts. 

  Social media has also been proven to cause mental health issues in teens, such as depression, anxiety, and poor body image. On social media, people tend to post the best aspects of their lives and selves, warping users’ perception of reality. Social media contributes to teens’ body dysmorphia by perpetuating a false ideal of how bodies should look. Adolescent minds are more impressionable and are already more prone to insecurity. Not only about themselves but social insecurities about how they’re perceived. Knowing all of this, teens still feel the need to open social media profiles, peer pressure is an enormous influence on teens. Social media is an integral part of teenage culture, many teenagers are on social media every day. 

Teens may feel this bill is much too limiting and may feel controlled, seeing as they must receive their parents’ approval, but 15 is the perfect age for teens to begin garnering their independence in opening social media accounts. After many years of parental guidance, teenagers will be more mature and knowledgable about online safety and will be gently pushed into making their own choices, instead of throwing them into a dangerous world while young and vulnerable.


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About the Contributors
Valeria Tijerina
Valeria Tijerina, Reporter
Class of 2025 I love to dig deep, get the scoop, and just report on issues, which is why I am so thrilled and honored to be a part of Student Press this year! When I'm not writing, I'm big on reading classic literature & poetry and just listening to 70s music. My guilty pleasure is also watching Gilmore Girls and Clueless. 
Alessandra Ashford
Alessandra Ashford, Opinions Editor
Class of 2025 When I’m not writing or editing you can find me reading, drawing, painting, listening to music, and ranting. I always love to tell stories and start conversations. I’m so excited to be on Student Press!

Comments (3)

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  • N

    Nancy LuMay 21, 2024 at 12:01 pm

    I think this bill has the right idea, but it’s really hard to know whether a child is really of age of not, as they can easily lie about their age. I also think that this bill is way to restrictive. If parents think their children are too addicted, they should do something theirselves since social media also has many social benefits. It is also a good platform to share information.

  • K

    KatelynMay 20, 2024 at 9:33 am

    I think that it is a good idea to try and prevent children from making social media accounts, there is a lot of bad stuff on the internet that they could potentially be exposed to. I believe there is also a lot of propaganda on the internet, and little kids sometimes don’t know any better.

  • L

    Lucy GMay 20, 2024 at 9:22 am

    I think that it is smart to limit social media for adolescents because of how addicting it can be. Sure I love social media but it does contribute to anxiety and depression which would be nice to decrease.