As the years go by, it's harder to imagine what life was like before the invention of the things we take for granted today. Things like cell phones that boast professional camera functions, ordering food online, and of course, social media.

Ask any 18-year-old what the world was like before social media came along, and they won't be able to answer. I barely remember that world!

Some people are worried about the way social media has overtaken the lives of children and wonder if we should place age restrictions on social media. Currently, most social media sites stipulate that users must be at least 13 years of age to register for an account.


Wondering if we should Redditor aussieredditooor asked:

"Would the world be a better place if we put a minimum age of 18 on social media, why/why not?"

The responses were quite mixed. Some people definitely thought the idea of placing an age restriction on social media was a winner.

"Facebook should go back to being just for college students. Once they opened up to everyone the world collectively became more dumb than it already was. There's that tweet that talks about parents warning children about the dangers of the internet, only to be the ones who should have taken heed of those words."

– ParticularBiscotti66

"Yes I’ve been suggesting this for a while. Social media is damaging for children. They should have a right to be kids and not worry about sh*tty insta posts. They also deserve to have some solitude after school and not be bullied through social media at home."

– Ionlypost1ce

"There’s more than just one problem and some of them absolutely involve kids. Cyberbullying, for example, is absolutely a kids problem just as much as an adult problem."

– Formo1287

"Abso-f*cking-lutley"

"It's ridiculously hard enough for adults to navigate the complexities of online communication, let alone children, adolescents, and teens... Whose BRAINS are still developing."

"Studies have shown for years that a rise in online communication is detrimental to interpersonal skills."

– Longjumping_Ad_1477

"Yes 10 year olds don't need to see all the garbage people be posting. Kids don't need to know all the drama and hate. They need to learn to be nice and respectful before coming to social media. Social media made me see thing that I will never forget."

– HornyDragons69

Others think the age restriction should go the other way. Instead of having a minimum age requirement, social media sites should institute a maximum age requirement.

"I think a maximum age would have a better effect honestly"

– VanillaThunder324

"Kids aren't the problem, they just laugh at memes and make dumb jokes the same as the rest of us."

"Put a maximum age like 65. Kick all the senior citizens off. They're the ones who promote violence, hate, etc."

– Yvaelle

"It would be a better place if we put a maximum age of 40 on social media."

– Albae87

"Only if we do a maximum age limit too. Both extremes of the age spectrum seem to make it a habit of posting the first vile thing that comes to their mind without a second thought as to whether it is factual or will cause hurt to others."

– jenni_anydots

Some people think social media should be done away with altogether.

"Getting rid of social media will make the world a better place."

– Deleted User

"Just get rid of social media all together and things would be a lot better in this world"

– Bout2Drop

"No. I think we should get rid of social media entirely, at least in its current forms. We need to get rid of all kinds of internet points, infinite scrolling, suggested content algorithms, targeted ads, and everything else that makes social media as addictive and divisive as it is. We need international laws about misinformation, hate speech, and encouraging violence, and if we can't make that happen then we should segregate it by country to lessen the chances of the real world being influenced by foreign trolls and the kind of memey BS that got Trump elected."

"We're better off interacting with the people in our local communities, and trying to change things in real life instead of complaining about them online and drawing validation from echo chambers on the internet. We can't live in a fantasy world forever, and we'll only dig ourselves into deeper holes if we try."

– NutSockMushroom

Most people agree that implementing an age restriction won't stop kids from using social media.

"Is that going to stop teens from going on their adults account? Not really. So it won’t help"

– Rude-Taco2140

"People won't magically understand how to use the internet safely once they become of age. Blocking children won't work. We need to be educating children on how to engage with the internet safely, how to set boundaries and how to follow them."

– BipedSnowman

"I signed up for MySpace at 11 or 12 when I think you had to be 13, most of my friends did the same. Same with Facebook when it had age limits back in the day. Hard to actually verify unless you have to put in your social security number or whatever equivalent other countries use for background checks which is a kinda dangerous slope."

– fenderdean13

"I mean, adult-only sites say "You can only view this content if youre 18+", do kids just be like "Oh ok I'll come back when Im 18"?"

– SurferSmith

However, it seems most people think an age restriction is a bad idea.

"I have only been over 18 for less than a year, so I’ll have to say no. I think that sheltering is one of the worst ways to teach safety. Also, I have learned about so many topics that I never would have without the internet."

– NiamhHA

A World Of Knowledge

"Blocking kids from social media would negatively impact minorities, disproportionately to non minorities. Many queer youth rely on the internet for support and advice to navigate the world safely."

– BipedSnowman

"As I used internet as a form of escapism as well, and it also helped me learn about my bisexuality and my ADHD."

– JesseAster

"I definitely found a lot of good help from online subgroups when I was younger. It’s tough bc there definitely is a lot of bad out there and it’s important we teach good Internet guidelines as a precautionary to avoid issues. I know my family was quite spoken on how I shouldn’t ever share any private info"

– foreveralonesolo

And that's the answer. Social media in and of itself isn't evil. In fact, sometimes, it's necessary. Between helping kids deal with their loneliness and depression, passing along important and truthful information, and just allowing ease of communication and teamwork, social media is a very good thing.

While the public's concerns are valid, getting rid of social media, or restricting who can and can't use it isn't the answer. Educating people on internet safety and what counts as helpful on social media, and what only causes harm, is the way to go.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below


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