Social media has transformed our daily lives in a variety of ways: from business promotion to interpersonal communication. However, due to its extensive scope, it is easy to forget that it is not forced upon us in any way. Similar to the consumption of sugary products or junk food, to use or not to use social media is a choice. Where there is a choice, there is always a responsibility.
By seeking to protect young people from the detrimental health effects of social media, the Government is also protecting them from the ability to chose. To justify the need for government intervention, Chris Elmore MP, called social media a “lawless landscape” where children work and play online. No one is questioning the importance of children’s mental health in our fast-changing world. The question to ask is why does the government believe it is its responsibility, not parents?
My 10-year old sister used to spend most of her time on social media, and the moment I found it extremely worrying, I suggested that my parents limited it to an hour per day. After a few days of consistent limited usage of social media, what the Government would call “an addiction” disappeared.
She started going out with actual friends and felt much happier. The tax will therefore only put another burden on social media companies without solving the actual problem – which is parental responsibility.