I’m always puzzled when I hear other parents say they’re worried about the effects social media might be having on their children. My confusion only grows when I see that the federal government is considering a ban on kids using social media. Are teens acquiring their own mobile devices and paying the bills? Doubtful. It seems someone gave them tacit permission to be on those platforms and the tools to do so. Yet many parents feel like they have no options other than to surrender to their kids’ desires or hate tweet their congressman to get the government to do something about TikTok.

I’m the parent of a teenage daughter who does not have any social media accounts. She has lived her life unplugged.

I remember very clearly when I decided to institute this policy, when she was about 4 years old. We were sitting together in the waiting room of the pediatrician’s office, and as usual, I was on my phone sending emails. She wanted to play with my device, and I declined by saying, “When you’ve learned to be comfortable alone with your thoughts, you can play with my phone.”

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