Seeks to address harmful effects of social media on children’s mental health
Today, State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) announced the launch of her “Safe Screens, Healthy Minds” initiative, which intends to address the harmful effects that social media platforms have on young, developing minds, and to hold social media platforms accountable for deceptive practices.
During the first phase of Sen. Rezin’s initiative, the Senator will hold a series of roundtables across the state to gather input from parents, educators, and mental health professionals. The first event will be Wednesday, January 31 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Yorkville Middle School Auditorium. The specific dates and locations for the subsequent events will be announced later.
“Feedback from parents to mental health professionals will provide valuable insights to further guide our efforts in the months ahead,” stated Rezin. “By fostering a statewide dialogue, we can take collective action to put protections into place to protect minors when using these platforms.”
Studies have revealed the deliberate design of social media platforms encourages harmful behaviors, intensifies issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and feelings of inadequacy, and provides a venue for unwanted sexual advances on minors. These research findings align with disclosures from multiple whistleblowers who testified before the U.S. Congress, providing further support for the independent research results.
“While these platforms offer immense opportunities for communication and learning, they also present significant risks, especially when it comes to the deceptive practices employed by social media platforms to target young users through algorithms and data harvesting,” stated Sen. Rezin. “This initiative will enhance online safety for children, creating a safer digital environment than the one they encountered in the past.”
The ultimate goal of Sen. Rezin’s Safe Screens, Healthy Minds initiative is to directly address those concerns through the introduction and passage of legislation.