When Is Your Brain Ready for Social Media?
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When Is Your Brain Ready for Social Media?

(soft music) – So back in the day,
way, way back in 2006 when I was 12 years
old, the principal came to the classroom to warn us
about the dangers of Myspace. Cyberbullying, inappropriate
content, stranger danger! Now if you don’t know what Myspace is, it’s basically like
Facebook with music kinda. But anyway, the principle
tries to scare us, and that just made me
want a Myspace even more. So I go home, ask my mom,
“Can I have a Myspace?” She’s like, “Sure, I don’t care.” So I go and make one,
but you have to be 13. So what do I do? I just lie, and click that I was 13, and there you go. That’s the start of my
social media career. So that’s my story. But now it seems like there’s
tons of kids on social media, and when I say kids, I
mean like little kids. Eight and under. Maybe their parents
started an account for them when they were babies and now they wanna take control of their own brand. Or they were like me and
just lied and clicked “Yes, I’m 13.” But just because it was easy
for me to get on social media, should I have been? I mean, I turned okay,
I mean, more or less, but looking back, I wonder
is there any downside to starting social media so young. So what’s the right age to
start using social media? Okay, first we know there’s
lots of kids on social media. According to a 2015
Common Sense Media study, an estimated 20% of kids
between eight and 12 years old are using social media with or
without their parents’ okay. That same study found that
those kids are spending an average of six hours a day on media like TV, video games, and social media. And keep in mind that this was from 2015, and I’m guessin’ there’s even more kids on social media now. And it makes sense. Half the kids I know want
their own YouTube channel. You could be just like me! But when you sign up for social media, you gotta put an age in and in most cases, you have to be 13. So why is that, anyway? It’s from an actual law called the Children’s Online Privacy
and Protection Act or COPPA. Congress passed the law back
in 1998 when Mark Zuckerberg was barely old enough to have
his own social media account. Wait, was social media
even a thing back then? No, it wasn’t. But law makers are worried about companies or other random people
online collecting information from kids like their name, phone number, and later photos and location without their parents’ knowledge. All stuff that applies
today with social media. So what makes 13 so special anyway? Well, it’s not really clear. But what is clear is that
it’s a really easy rule to get around. But just because you can, does
that mean that you should? All right, let’s start
with potential risks. First there’s privacy issues. Companies collect and
share all kinds of data from users from where you
live, to the last thing that you bought online. They may even broadcast
your current location. And that’s something that
your little brother may not be thinking about when he posts
that random video on TikTok. The whole thinking around
COPPA is that children are considered a
vulnerable group, and that they should be protected from this stuff. Unless their parents are okay with it. The idea is that when you’re older, you’ve got more life experience, and you can make better
decisions about what to share. We know that kids start
experimenting with sharing their own data online when they’re 11-13, but they don’t really start
to understand the risks and the consequences
of what they do online until they’re 14-16 years old. Then there’s safety. Plain and simple. Even if you put aside
all the concerns about data privacy, there’s still
the issue of visibility. Kids can interact with
strangers on social media. Kinda like all the stuff my principal was talking about when she
was warning us about Myspace. Online predators, identity theft, cyberbullying, people accessing
your personal information are all risks we take
whenever we use social media. And then there’s mental
health issues to think about. After all, children’s
brains are still developing. A scientific study found that kids’ brains are highly sensitive to
acceptance and rejection. Spending all of this time in
online communities may have the power to change how a
kid feels about themselves. I mean, who doesn’t love
getting love online. But what about kids who
feel rejected or depressed when they don’t get enough? Do we really want their self-esteem to be connected to a
virtual heart or thumbs up? And don’t get me started on trolls. Personally, I’m like, you
know, haters are gonna hate, and I’m not trying to
sound cool or anything, but I guarantee a troll wouldn’t
say any of it to my face. That’s why I hate the idea of kids taking these random internet trolls seriously. Is there gonna be cost to kids who grow up needing online approval? So all that sounds pretty
bad for kids, right? But I’m talking to you right
now on a social media platform. And clearly, I’m having a
positive impact on young minds. Now some research shows that social media can be a good things for teens. For example, in this
study, teens reported that social media makes them feel
better about themselves. They also report it makes
them feel more conifident and less lonely and depressed. Then there’s the argument
that younger teens often need social media to find support and community that they have a hard time finding face to face. One of the first examples of
this is the It Gets Better movement that reached
out to young queer kids. Kids have also used social
media to get support for everything from
organizing around a cause or dealing with mental illness. One young man reached out on Minecraft and was met with overwhelming support when he admitted to considering suicide. And social media can lead to more than just online
friendships or support forums. It can also help teens
mobilize around causes that they’re passionate about. Research shows that active
youth engagement in politics and civic issues are linked to more active engagement as adults. It helps build identity, purpose, and even health and academic pursuits. So let’s use some of our
data plans for building those intellectual and activist muscles, people! C’mon! Let’s get to it! The Parkland teens used twitter to build a global movement for safer gun laws. And it’s not just high school
students making a big impact. At just 13, Alexandria
Villaseñor used social media to gain support for her
climate protest at the UN. So looking back now, if I could give advice
to 12 year old Miles, it would be forget Myspace, buy stock in Facebook. Early. But wait, this isn’t about me. It’s about you. So what do you think? When do you think you became mature enough to handle all the pros
and cons of social media? Let us know what you think
in the comments below. Now if this video has you rethinking how you use social media, check out our other video
all about the pros and cons of all that time you spend using screens. And a big shout out to our partners at Common Sense Education. They helped us make this video. If you’re a teacher, check out their digital
citizenship curriculum in the description below. So as always, support us
with a like and a subscribe. Until next time, guys. Peace out!

20 thoughts on “When Is Your Brain Ready for Social Media?

  1. I’m not sure there is an appropriate age here. Seems to me that even the wisest, most mature adults can fall victim to the detrimental aspects of social media. But then again, the average 20 year old is surely better equipped for it than the average 7 year old. This is certainly tricky but I’m gonna say age 14 is probably old enough for most kids. Of course it will vary from person to person.

  2. Social media is just another way for people to interact. Sure bad things can happen, but they can happen at Scouts, or the Y, or the park, or at whatever the neighborhood hangout is, or Church, or school. In fact, they can be even worse in those places, where people have physical access. It isn’t “what age” but “how”, and “what are the rules”, “what spaces” and “how do we make it safe”. Safe spaces, supervision or at least some adult oversight, rules of behaviour, paying attention when people are having problems, teaching kids what to look out for, who to come to, how to say “no”,… this is what we do in RL. Why any different on MySpaceBook or whatever?

  3. At the start of highschool (age 13) otherwise the disparity would be too great. Anyone 12 or under should have a phone soley for communication and emergrncy that doesn't collect data for orwells. Its a pain cause regulating these things seems like a good idea but it may do more harm than good. You cannot prevent everything bad cough Murphy's Law cough.

  4. The 7-year-old Ryan of YouTube's Ryan ToysReview made $11 million in revenue last year from his YouTube account.

  5. Pfftt….I had a Friendster before Myspace was even a thing. Myspace was great because of the customization ability.

    I think Facebook is really dumb, and don't have one. I think it stopped being "cool" when everyone's grandma was on there.

    The whole social media thing is just projections that everyone else is all smiles and having fun. Instagram is the same thing. People don't post pictures of themselves bright and early looking like a mess even though that's how most of us wake up.

    Kids and social media is hard, because like you said, the kids will want to be on it more if you tell them it's bad.

  6. I would say 14 which is the age around the time you enter High School. It is true around 11-13 you are not aware of what you should & shouldn't do online, I released so much info of myself & I'm pretty sure some of the people I talked to where "predators", once I turned 14 all I could think about is how ignorant I was I middle school….

  7. It depends. People of all ages are affected by things like the Echo Chamber effect, which is more harmful than the effects on Children in some cases.

    And everyone matures differently. Maybe 18 would be rough good average age since teens tend to be self conscious. And they should rather be in touch in real life. For activism, they can start from their parents account too. No big deal if you ask me.

    Best thing would be to raise awareness in children(and adults too) that receiving attention online doesn't actually mean anything. For children, this needs to be shown with a real life example.

    Edit: I just noticed.. Why does this channel have so few subscribers?!

  8. i dont think i understood well enough till my 7th month on discord
    the volume of people u talk to on discord is unbelievable, and the weird shit u see from people when they are raiding is stupid af

    note: id like to see studies done on discords effects as the way u interact with people is community driven, and a very different experience from most social media

  9. What about roblox? You have to have a parent to make you a account if you are under 13. But on the game there is content kids should not see.

    You can also lie about you're account age and share your Twitter, Discord, and you're youtube if you're older than 13. There is scams SCAMS in
    A childs game how does that even happen, there is also strangers trying to take you i have no idea how that happens

    Also awsome video

  10. I wasn't getting my first phone so I was 10 and even then my mom used it way more than I did and only this last year I got Instagram before that I would mostly just stay on YouTube. And now I'm seeing people who were under the age of 5 with iPads and phones glued to their face and I feel like that's very unhealthy for children especially because the young development and I feel like for ages around 10 or a little bit below should be allowed that kind of stuff otherwise I think it should stick to television because it gives the kid more of a likelihood to go outside in my opinion as well as with television its monitor so you know exactly what your kid is watching and you know what the television showing however by giving your kid your phone or an iPad sometimes you can't monitor it are there more record to learn things that you don't want them to learn from YouTube and other sources like that

  11. I don't know what age is appropriate (though I'm inclined to say around 13-18 at the lowest), but i just think it's a shame that our youth are being indoctrinated into the world of social media before they know the risks or consequences of their actions on social media. It's a complex system that thrives on the exploitation of impulsive behaviors, which are all too common among children and teens. There are even many adults who get taken advantage of by social media platforms.

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