Children Lack Ethical Maturity Required To Use Social Media Responsibly, New Study Confirms

Social media has transformed our lives in more ways than one and it’s not only adults who are addicted but children too.

Keeping this thought in mind, a new study from France is shedding light on how children should be barred from social media apps until they reach the age of 13.

The study that was commissioned by the country’s President provided more insights into how the use of social media responsibly cannot come without maturity and ethical thinking. For this reason, the authors claim social media should be restricted to kids until they turn 13.

The massive 142-page long report was rolled out yesterday after the orders of the President who requested a commission to investigate the impact that excessive exposure can have on young minds and would more can be done to reduce the harms.

The study dubbed: ‘Children and Screens: In Search of Lost Time’ shed light on how kids cannot and should not have smartphone devices until the age of maturity. This means 11 and that access to apps must be limited until they attain ethical thinking maturity which is 15 to 18.

As far as toddlers are concerned, it’s recommended to not expose those below the age of 3, and also mentioned that if shown at six and above, strict monitoring is needed.

The experts of the study also shed light on how 29 proposals were issued as a whole and it would be a huge error to just consider some and leave out others.

For now, no other comments or queries were entertained by those who took part in the commission and generated the report. But it’s not something new that we haven’t been hearing for so long,

All over the globe, tons of policymakers from all over are trying to combat the excessive use of tech by kids while bans are being rolled out by plenty of tech giants to get parents more active and involved in monitoring what their kids are up to.

Remember, social media can give rise to a lot of good but even more harm. And the lasting impression it has on young minds is devastating as proven by plenty of studies in the past.

Another recently published research spoke about how young kids who had phones during their elementary school period spoke about having worse mental health while growing up as adults.
For this particular study, we saw the commission enroll close to 150 kids and interview hundreds of different professionals from leading tech firms like Meta, Snap, X, TikTok, YouTube, and even Samsung.

The authors opted to enroll research experts to better the studies and take them forward on how much screen time can affect children’s mental development and capability. This includes the role of addictive algorithms and how screen addiction isn’t yet getting recognition by scientists.

It’s also been recommended by experts to ensure kids remain safe from the modern practices used by the tech world to capture attention and make the most of cognitive biases.

The fact that children are being exploited on this front and transformed into commodities for the sake of earning an extra penny is worrisome indeed and seeing them targeted with countless alerts is certainly a point that needs further study.

As experts mentioned recently, we cannot enable the youth to fall prey to these kinds of mechanics and therefore a rejection is necessary.

It’s also mentioned how such findings are designed to be the initial step that gives rise to a new public policy that’s coherent for all.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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