Kids and smartphones | What the Tech?

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — President Biden is calling upon Congress to pass new laws to protect children from some things they see online and on social media.

However, the White House is putting some of that responsibility on parents, some of whom have found a solution.

Brooke Shannon started “Wait Until 8th.” It’s an initiative to encourage parents to all say no to kids having smartphones, at least until eighth grade.

“So it gets you through all of elementary school, most of middle school. At that point, if you want to transition you can, and you’ll have a year before high school,” Shannon explained.

Titania Jordan is the chief parenting officer of Bark. Bark has 8 years of research that shows what kids run across when they use phones and social media.

Jordan weighed in on if that initiative could make a difference.

“If a certain amount of parents are together at one school or zip code, they can truly make a difference. The problem is a lot of parents are isolated. A lot of parents aren’t talking to other parents. We’re operating in isolation as well and that is not powerful,” she said.

Jordan took another step. She launched a Facebook group for parents called “Parenting in a tech world” which now reaches over 300,000 people.

“If you’re struggling, go there. You may not know who to talk to in your neighborhood or in your city. Go to that group. There are other parents that have been through what you’re going through and are happy to help,” Jordan explained.

Once a child gets a smartphone, it’s nearly impossible to take it back. Taking a stand at the beginning may be the best way to protect children from all the things you wish they’d never see.

Wait Until 8th has resources, such as talking points, posters and social media posts to help organize parents in your child’s circle of friends, youth groups or schools. Click here to learn more.