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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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"
"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."
"It would be a better place if we put a maximum age of 40 on social media."
"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."
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"
"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."
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"
"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."
"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."
"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"?"
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."
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."
"As I used internet as a form of escapism as well, and it also helped me learn about my bisexuality and my ADHD."
"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"
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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What does this insomniac do at night?
Work. The answer is work. It always has been.
As a kid, I'd write endlessly in notebooks when I couldn't sleep. Now that I'm an adult you can absolutely find me online at 4 AM rambling about some madness like trans Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or that one time my neighbor bare-hand picked up a piece of dog poop and put it in her pocket.
Yes, I live in Florida.
For me, insomnia is a place of creation. But what is it for others?
For that, we turn to Reddit. Because humans stay nosy about what everybody else is doing.
Reddit user Acid_In_My_Eyes asked:
"People who can't sleep, what do you do all night?"
Yeah ... turns out, it's certainly not a space of creation for everyone. Unless the thing you're creating is anxiety.
Over and Over
"Toss and turn. Overthink. Replay conversations on my mind."
"Yeah man... anxiety takes it toll on sleep. The more stressful the day, the worse the sleep."
"100%!!!! And how I could have acted differently or what else could’ve happened."
"Be increasingly pissed off about not being able to sleep."
"It's the most vicious cycle ever."
"Can't sleep, pissed off that you can't sleep, now it's even harder to get to sleep. Now you are stressing out because it's getting closer to the next day, adds to the fact you cant sleep."
"Calculate how many hours of sleep I could at least still have if I was able to fall asleep at that moment."
"It’s literally the worst because I end up priming myself for a day where I believe I’ll perform suboptimally; thereby ensuring I perform suboptimally."
"It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."
"Being tired and having a sh*t day at work because you laid awake all night thinking about how you were going to be tired and have a sh*t day at work is the worst."
Not No Regrets
" 'Dream’ random scenarios in my head where I either could have done better or changed things, or I’m dreaming of scenarios I want to happen, either because they might or just because I want it in the future"
"So its not 'no regrets' it's 'some regrets?' "
"Every single day. They can be as small as ‘I wish I had just given x person x compliment’ to ‘I never should have told x person about x secret’ etc"
"I have found success in just accepting that I cant sleep, OK I GUESS IM NOT GONNA SLEEP RIGHT NOW...and then getting in to a comfy position."
"EYES WIDE OPEN, NOT TRYING to sleep. Just lay there and let my mind wander."
"I build what I call, happy places."
"What kind of life do I WISH I had? What kind of world do I wish this was?"
"I build the whole world, I usually have powers but no one knows."
"I'm rich. I'm single. The world is safe enough to leave your front door unlocked and no one goes in to your house."
"I just build and build and build the most kickass scenarios, and eventually I'll wake up and be like 'OH I FELL ASLEEP!' and after that I usually keep sleeping."
Bed Time Stories
"I am really bad at falling asleep. Unless really tired and/or using alcohol."
"Since that's not an everyday solution I listen to an audiobook, in my case the Harry Potter series."
"I know the books so well that my brain, while focusing on the story, grows numb an I fall asleep."
"The audiobook, unless the device is shaken, will turn off after 30 minutes. I mostly fall asleep within the hour now and I have something fun to listen to."
"Haven't tried it using a story I don't know, but that will probably keep me awake."
"I do this with Forensic Files."
"It’s crazy, but I’ve seen all 20 thousand of them and the familiarity and voice puts me in a calm trance."
"It takes what it takes lol"
Crash When You Crash
"Read, browse reddit, music, get some work done, daydream/think whatever u wanna call it."
"I don't adhere to a schedule, I just crash when I crash, get up when I get up."
"It's healthy trust me."
"Do u work or go to school right now?"
"School, and online. All it complicates is the occasional obligation. May not align for everyone, but it's what works for me and if it works for you it could be all cool."
Relish The Rare
"Turn off blue light on all devices an hour before sleep."
"Use a white noise app or something similar so your mind blocks out and focuses on only 1 sound."
"Reading or listening to podcasts."
"Turn a lot."
"Most importantly for me is to get comfortable and relish in that rare comfort."
"The times I'm not worried about my lack of sleep, the better sleep I get. I normally remember that being comfy and switched off from the world (even if it doesn't work) is much more preferable to being uncomfy, looking at a screen and working for 7 hours straight."
"If nothing else, Masturbate."
"I’m going through chemo treatments right now and on Tuesday nights through Thursday, into Friday, I can’t sleep."
"I will get up, go to the living room, pour a cup of coffee and read."
"I’ve finished a few books since January and I’m running out. I’m taking in the peace and quiet and transporting myself to a different world for a few hours."
"Then, I’ll take a nap for a bit. Rinse and repeat every other week."
"I remember a few weeks back, I was quite nervous about my girlfriend's wellbeing as she was super stressed about things."
"That made me super stressed about things to the point I couldn't sleep."
"I ended up trying to assemble basic sentences in Japanese for a few hours to take my mind off things."
That Scrubbing Sound
"I really don’t know if this will help anyone, but I watch reconstruction videos of old vintage items and welding of items."
"Such as cleaning a old and broken PS1 and forging weapons from video games, hearing the sounds and the scrubbing at a low sound does help me sleep"
There you go, fellow insomniacs.
Now you've got a project list for the next time sleep decides it's not your friend.
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