The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

Breaking News
  • May 11Boys Varsity Lacrosse are the 2024 FHSAA 1A State Champions!!!
  • May 9Boys Track Won 3 Straight State Championships!!!
The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte


Who Will Win the Super Bowl?

  • Chiefs (67%, 2 Votes)
  • 49ers (33%, 1 Votes)
  • Taylor Swift (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 3

Loading ... Loading ...

Florida Joins Large Group of States Attempting to Ban Social Media

Gov. Ron Desantis discusses his viewpoints on social media and technology use.
Carl Juste/Miami Herald, via Associated Press
Gov. Ron Desantis discusses his viewpoints on social media and technology use.

On Jan. 24, the Florida House of Representatives voted to approve a bill that bans anyone under 16 years old from downloading or using social media apps in the state of Florida. The vote counted 106-13 marking it a clear decision to pass the bill.

In March 2023, Utah became the first state to enact laws against social media for minors. Their regulations include the need for parental approval for anyone under 18 and that no minor can be on any social media apps from the hours of 10:30 pm to 6:30 am. 

Since then many states have either passed or proposed multiple laws to protect minors from the negative effects of these apps. The states in which laws have actually been enacted are as follows: Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. 

A large number of states currently have bills that are pending and waiting on a vote. New York has a total of 25 pending laws and one enacted law that has to do with investigating human trafficking in terms of social media. Most bills in other states are focused on investigating activity on apps instead of just restrictions. 

Of the states with laws already, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Utah, all have created and passed bills restricting and monitoring age. If the Florida bill is finalized and made into law, it will be one of the most strict social media laws that are about age for any state in the United States. 

Connecticut did propose a very similar bill in which social media companies must verify the age of a user and get parental approval for anyone under 16 years old to be on the apps. However, this bill was rejected. While this was rejected in Conn., Louisiana has passed a law that protects minors and requires parental approval for children under 16. 

This debate over social media is constantly brought up in politics as well as in households with teenagers and children all around the country. There are many studies that show how a higher usage of social media can cause stress and even depression, especially within a younger demographic like teenagers. These apps typically affect teenagers more than other adults because their minds are still developing as they get older.

Florida Governor, Ron Desantis, did express some concern over the bill to because of legal issues that could arise. Desantis, who has a background as an attorney, recognized how other states have attempted to pass bills restricting social media and have been brought to court for possible violations of the First Amendment. He claims that it is likely that there will be some changes made to the bill as it approaches the Legislature. 

“To just say that someone who is 15 just cannot have it no matter what, even if the parent consents, that may create some legal issues,” shares Desantis as he recognizes the possible concerns of putting the bill into law.

The effective date of the bill is July 1, 2024, meaning that some may need to say goodbye to their social media accounts and apps before that day.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Caroline Groffman
Caroline Groffman, Associate Editor
Caroline Groffman is a sophomore at The Benjamin School. She is going into her second year on The Pharcyde and is excited to continue her writing. Caroline has been a part of The Benjamin School community since Kindergarten. She loves seeing family and friends, and going to the beach.

Comments (0)

All The Pharcyte Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *