TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Cooper Priest is a rising senior at Wharton High School who freely admits he’s addicted to his cell phone, and says more students need to be aware of the dangers of using one.
“I think it’s important for kids to understand that social media is not it’s friend,” Priest said. “A lot of kids have a relationship with social media that they think that when they are stressed they can go to social media and they can interact with their friends on it, but in reality these companies are just trying to make some money off of them.”
Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor says as the summer is ending and the school year is about to start, parents need to be more aware of these dangers.
“We know right now that there is a crisis among young people, when it comes to anxiety, higher rates of mental illness, higher suicide ideation. This correlates with the rise in the use of social media,” said Castor.
The congresswoman is proposing an update to legislation that controls the privacy of children online.
“We want to give parents and students and educators the tools they need to protect their mental health and wellness,” said Castor.
She says parents can also set their own limits in the home.
“There are privacy settings, on your phone where parents can go in, especially for young kids and turn off the notifications, set the controls on how long your student can stay online,” said Castor.
She says parents should also consider removing cell phones from a child’s room before they go to bed to limit their temptation overnight.