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As a father of nine children between the ages of 22 and 2, I am all too familiar with the gravitational pull social media has on young people, whether it’s Tik-Tok, Instagram, Snapchat or the ever-growing number of popular social media apps.
As parents, my wife, Rachel, and I struggled for years with the decision and pressure to put such a highly addictive device into the hands of our impressionable children.
Once we let our kids have a phone, we worried about whether they were the right age and how to impose limits. Since our kids are far more tech savvy than we are, we wondered if they were finding ways around our rules, and if we were doing enough to warn them about the dangers phones present, like sexual predators, pornography and filters that distort faces and perpetuate body dysmorphia and anxiety.
When our oldest was a freshman in high school, we let her have her first iPhone. The next two kids, now 19 and 17, were allowed to have a phone in middle school, eighth grade. We now know that that was a naive and bad decision. Kids should never have a smartphone