Social media platforms may soon need to acquiesce to the demands of Congress and upset parents.
The prospect comes after the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee called for testimony by Snap, X, TikTok, Discord, and Meta.
As their executives responded to angry questioning, parents stood silently behind them, holding up photographs of their children whose deaths are related to using the platforms.
“You have blood on your hands,” ranking member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) accused Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg as the hearing began. “You have a product that’s killing people.”
The time a baby spends on screens can have a lot to do with the mother’s mental health.
Two new studies in JAMA Pediatrics show an association between babies’ screen use and delays in their development, especially in the areas of learning to speak and problem-solving.
The more screen exposure, the more delays.
In the studies—both from Japan—the states of mind of the mothers affected the time their babies spent using digital devices.
“Lower developmental scores were associated with increased screen time in children with maternal psychological distress,” the first study states.
Postpartum Depression and Anxiety are Widespread
Depression is a vexingly common disorder among pregnant and new moms. 1 in 8 has depression or anxiety severe enough to require medical care, according to the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
A mother may be diagnosed with postpartum depression or anxiety if her feelings of sadness, emptiness, fear, or worry last for weeks and interfere with the tasks of everyday life.
Turning to screens is how some depressed and anxious parents cope.
As one mom recalls from before she was treated for postpartum depression, “I sat [my infant son] in a bouncy seat in front of the TV to get things done and take my mind off my anxiety and show something was getting accomplished.”
Many Parents Still Unaware of Screen Time Guidelines
The Screen Aware Early Childhood Kit is a game changer for caregivers of young children who’ve lacked the words and wherewithal to talk with daycares, schools, babysitters, and relatives about the role of screens.
It’s so satisfying to have the right tool for the right job. A flathead won’t do when you need a phillips screwdriver. Plyers are different from a wrench.
But since the arrival of digital devices, parents have had precious few tools to work with. They quickly learned, for instance, there’s no lunchbox to contain social media.
Now comes a fact-filled fleet of info products to help caregivers manage screen use by and around children from birth until at least age 8. The toolkit arrives just as alarming new evidence floods in about how screen use can harm babies, toddlers, and young children.
The kit’s 10 research-backed fact-and-action sheets not only give parents a hand, but teachers, schools, and daycare providers, too.
Meeting Children’s Real Needs
Fact Sheet 1 answers to basic question “What do young children need?”
Putting warning labels on social media is among strategies to better protect child users being discussed by a U.S. Senate committee.
At the hearing “Protecting Our Children Online,” witnesses called by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary described a digital environment replete with social media harms. They also discussed ways for Congress to act.
Parent Nightmares Continue