Should children under 16 be banned from using social media? | 029


Apple | Spotify | Youtube

About this episode

In this episode 29 titled, “Should Children Under 16 Be Banned from Using Social Media?” , Brett and Ellen discuss the controversial topic of whether children under 16 should be banned from using social media. They explore the mental health impacts, safety concerns, and the roles of parents and government in regulating social media use among young people.

🎧 Tune into this episode on Apple Podcasts here. 

Key Points:

  • Mental Health Concerns: Statistics showing the link between social media use and poor mental health outcomes in adolescents.
  • Safety Issues: Risks of image-based sexual abuse, privacy concerns, and negative interactions online.
  • Parent and Government Roles: The need for parents to regulate their children’s social media use and the government’s potential interventions.
  • Personal Experiences: Ellen shares insights from her experience with her children and social media.
  • Possible Solutions: Strategies for parents to manage and reduce social media use in their households.

Follow Euka on Socials






Follow our host and Euka CEO Brett on Socials




🎧 Tune into this episode on Apple Podcasts here. 


Brett Campbell (00:00)
Hello and welcome back to another episode of Future Learners. I am your host, Brent Campbell, chairman and CEO of Euka Future Learning. And I’m joined by my amazing hostess, as always with the mostess, Ellen Brown, the founder and head of education. How are you doing, Ellen?

Ellen Brown (00:15)
doing really well. Thanks, Brett.

Brett Campbell (00:17)
Excellent. Today’s topic, I’ll start with a bit of a potential trigger warning. Not so much a trigger warning, but it’s a topic that’s a very, one, it’s a hot topic right now. And especially for parents who have, you know, children entering into their teen years, the topic is even more apparent for them. And it is this topic I want to…

Thank you first of all for sending over this article because I think today’s episode is just going to be based around our opinions and our thoughts off the back end of this. And this article states, should children under 16 be banned from using social media? I’ve got a lot of friends who are parents and we’re quite often talking about this topic and you know, what does it mean? What’s the outcomes of it, et cetera, ecetera. Where should the line be? You know, who makes up these rules, who gets to determine that, et cetera, how do you govern it, et cetera, et cetera. So we’re going to talk about,

And I really look forward to getting your opinion on this too, Alan, with, you know, with multiple children as well, and different experiences and different age groups there. cause you’ve seen no social media and you’ve also seen social media within your family. So it’d be great to really get into that. But I want to start by just reading a little bit of this article just to sort of set the tone as to what we’re going to, really digest and discuss today. So, this was an article actually out of the educator.

and I’ll give you a shout out. Brett Hinniberry is the, is the author of that. and it says a growing body of research has found that adolescents who spend more than three hours per day on social media face double the risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression and anxiety. Young people always, young people also have significant safety concerns about the online environment with 31% of 16 to 19 year olds reporting image based sexual abuse, 66 % expecting to encounter privacy or security issues and 85 % considering it likely they will have negative interactions with strangers. So let’s start with that. I mean, it’s, it’s not a surprise, right? I sit here and I read that. And I’ve got some other statistics that I really want to share that will end up.forming the case of what my opinion should be because I want us, Alan, at the end of this conversation to have a hard line yes or no on should children under 16 be banned from social media? So I’ll try to provide my thesis behind why I believe what I believe. And I’m looking forward to extracting yours as well. So hearing that, Alan, and you obviously read this entire article as well.

When you hear should children under 16 be banned from social media and you hear the increase in rates of safety concerns and sexual image based sexual abuse and bullying, etc. What comes to mind as a parent?

Ellen Brown (03:21)
Yeah, it’s certainly an interesting one. I can’t help but feel like we’re in the eye of the storm right now because social media has risen faster and gone to places that we never expected it to go. And so even though right now it feels like this is an overwhelming problem and almost a problem that we can’t solve, I really can already see being that my oldest children are now parents.

and seeing the way they’re looking at social media and their children who are just starting to grow up, you know, first one in the higher end of primary school, with a lot more understanding and insight than I had as a parent with the teenagers I’ve got right now. I think there’s the, you know, this article talks, that part that you just talked about, talked about how kids themselves are concerned about how social media is affecting them.

And I certainly think that there’s the side of how kids are feeling about it and that kids don’t always make decisions that are best for them, but also how parents are feeling about it because more and more parents have had an impact of social media in their homes and they can feel embarrassed to talk about the fact that this had happened with their kids and on their watch. And I’m certainly one of those parents. I’m willing to talk about that today.

but also feeling as though, you know, all of us parents are feeling the same way. And when the Prime Minister or, you know, as is happening right now, saying, should we ban it? You know, all of the parents are quite, have got strong feelings. Most don’t have an in -between. So I think it’s going to be a really great topic for us to get our head around today.

Brett Campbell (05:05)
Yeah, absolutely. I want to share some more stats as well, just to sort of set the tone. 89 % of teachers say that social media is having a negative impact on children’s reading habits, which is pretty interesting within itself, right? So it’s not just about the bullying. It’s not just about the image sexual abuse. It’s not just about, you know, cyber attacks, etc. It’s actually affecting, statistically, it’s affecting

children’s ability to learn and progress and grow. But these are the steps that really triggered me as a parent. and again, it’s not surprising, because I’ve, I’ve been a very early adopted a social media, you know, I’ve used social media, what I would say to an absolute advantage in a, in a respect of, you know, over the last 16, 17 years of building businesses and being an entrepreneur and, and utilizing social media to.

you know, connect with people from all around the world who become customers and so on and so forth. And I always akin this to the higher, the higher, the lower, the low, right? And that’s simply the universe bringing something back to equilibrium, right? So in this case, social media has been an absolute world changer. It’s connected everyone. There used to be a saying called six degrees of separation. It’s probably like 0 .5 degrees of separation now.

right, because someone’s connected to someone to someone to someone. And with that, you know, you heard the hear the old saying with great power comes great responsibility, right? Who was that? What was that? Spider -Man? Maybe a Spider -Man. It was it was it was someone someone’s gonna fact check me anyway. But with great power comes great responsibility. And social media.

Ellen Brown (06:46)
I just…

Brett Campbell (06:54)
has done so much greatness for the world, but on the other end of it, it’s almost from my perspective, I think it’s the destroyer of the world. And I’m going to share these statistics here because they’re quite profound. And as a parent, when you see it, again, probably not going to shock you too much, but I hope it doesn’t in many ways, because there’s a harsh reality that lurks beneath it. And I’ll start by saying, before I give the stats is,

I believe, and as a parent myself now, I love my, my, my first and only daughter at this present time, she’s three years old. So she’s not on social media, although she’s used the YouTube app and she knows how to swipe up and suggest the videos. I’m just like, my goodness, wait on a minute. and there’s reasons why or not she should or shouldn’t be doing what and what are our rules and stuff around that. So we can talk about that. but I haven’t, I haven’t been exposed personally to the underbelly.

of what I know is out there in the internet and, and how people can become lured into this. But I truly believe that a lot of parents in this, again, you can agree to discourage me here, but I believe a lot of parents potentially don’t necessarily enforce social media rules on their kids or back because they are themselves addicted to social media. Right. It’s a, it’s a hard reality. I had to delete Tik Tok. I deleted Tik Tok like two years ago, cause I found myself.

And I know what’s happening and I know what the algorithm is doing. And I know it’s the interest algorithm. Cause I, I look into all these things and I love that sort of stuff and how it works in psychology and so forth. And I was like, my God, I’m spending like three, four hours a night, just scrolling endlessly. And I’m addicted to this thing. And I’m like, what sort of role model will I be for my child? If I’m just consistently doing that. So anyway, that’s, that’s why I think there’s a, there’s a bit of a preface around.

why it may be a lot harder for parents. If you don’t like social media and you’re not on it, it’s probably easy for you to go, hey, child, don’t be on it. It’s ridiculous, right? But when you yourself are drinking the Kool -Aid, it’s hard to tell someone not to drink the Kool -Aid, right? So here’s some statistics. Overnight psychiatric emergency department visits in Australia. This is data from 2008 to 2020, right?

In 2012, there was a sharp increase of 81 % increase since actually 2010. So for females aged 12 to 24, there’s an 81 % increase in psychiatric emergency department visits. There’s a 51 % increase in males. So quite higher there for females. Percent with an anxiety diagnosis. So children aged 15 to 24,

and this is from New Zealand, this is a shocking one. Females have had a 259 % increase since 2011 and males have had 131 % increase since 2011. Percentage of US teens saying they have major depression. Girls 140 % increase since 2010. Boys 161 % increase. So there’s some slight differences there between the…

the male and females. But we look at teens admitted to hospital for non -fatal self -harm, aged 10 to 14, 188 % increase since 2010 and boys 48 % increase in 2010. Now, again, these stats, you can, there’s lots of them. And in my investigation and going through all this, something is apparent about this. And these statistics are an increase. Cause if you look at the previous years prior,

Like teen depression in 2004 to 2010 actually decreased slightly in boys and girls. It was the introduction of social media that is literally, I mean, and again, other elements of that, but it really is this introduction of this new form of technology that has created this.

epidemic. Like it’s, it really is sad and it’s unbelievably scary for parents to realize that all of this is going on. And, it feeds back to social media. So Ellen with, with, obviously there’s a lot of numbers that I sort of showed there. I mean, the, the overall premise there is everything is up and to the right at a very alarming rate as it relates to our children’s mental health. Right. w what do you, what do you say to that? What do you, what do you, what are your thoughts on all of that?

Ellen Brown (11:39)
Yeah, I’d be really interested to see, and I don’t know how we’d ever see this, but the actual content that’s trending at particular times at some of these specific areas are going up. So for example, you know, I’ve got a teenage daughter and I’ve got teenage boys. And what I was seeing is it almost became trendy to have anxiety after COVID. And so a lot of,

very popular people that are being followed would get on and say, you know, I just don’t even want to see people. And at a time where, and especially with this time coming out of COVID, where at that point social media became a connection to the outside world, you know, and so a lot of very impressionable kids. That’s why I said, I feel like we’re in the eye of the storm. I truly feel like that parenting teenagers,

through that COVID and out the other side of that with social media is probably building one of the toughest things that I’ve ever had to do to navigate something that none of us really had insight into. Could it possibly be that it could be trendy to have anxiety? It could be trendy to have an eating disorder. It could be trendy to self -harm. Was a trendy thing. They were talking on social media about how to do what, what happens when you do this and that.

And that became something that was, it was such a shock to me as a parent. It was hard to be ahead of that and say, well, let’s talk about what happens if we watch this or that. There wasn’t time for that, you know? And it’s not that it’s all over Red Rover. It is about picking up from where we are right now and say, okay, we gotta learn lessons faster than we’ve ever learned them before when we’re parenting at a time like this. And you know,

we’re going to say these statistics and they are terrifying and frightening for a parent. I don’t think there’s a parent that’s not living it. You know, we’re all living it. And so it’s going to come down to how are we going to, as a parent, approach it? Because I think we’re naive if we think that we can say, the government says now they’re going to raise the age to 16. Yeah, the current age is 13 to get onto social media. You’ve just said the statistics start from 10.

That’s because in order to get on at 10, you only have, you know, they’re all so clever on social media. They’re teaching each other how to get on there earlier and earlier. That’s right. So even if the PM says we’ve solved it, come, everybody’s come, we’re going to have this big, we’re going to spend a lot of money. We’re going to spend a lot of time. We’re going to get all these experts not going to be talked over. So, you know, we’re going to get together. Then we’re going to talk about and reflect on.

Brett Campbell (14:02)
Yeah, usually an internet connection.

Ellen Brown (14:24)
and we might change the rules to 16. It’s not gonna make a difference as parents are gonna have to step up and make some decisions and planning ahead for our families now.

Brett Campbell (14:34)
Yeah. Let me add some context to that. Cause you mentioned a couple of times about what is air quotes here being done. because you’re right. We can’t just rely on the government to, I mean, they can only do what they can do, right? It’s, I don’t think it’s the government’s responsibility to police all of this either. I think it’s the parents responsibility because there’s far more dangers out there outside of social media as well. you’re not letting your 12 year old kid gun.

drive your car around the town are you with their friends because it’s dangerous. But you don’t see the slow decline of social media, which is speeding up day by day to your point, it’s happening at rapid rates, these trends, it doesn’t take much now, when you understand influence and persuasion, and you got someone on, there’s a thing called influencers now online, it’s like, yeah, like that term wasn’t there 10 years ago, there was there was no such thing, where someone who can just be super random says some random stuff.

then all of a sudden they got this cult following of people who will do anything that they say that this person should do. And that in itself is an absolute decline and demise, which if we’ve got time, we’ll tap onto that as well. But in regards to what is being done, so in an effort to finally bring the issue to heel, the governments of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia are now mulling a ban on social media for children under the age of 16. So as you said, the current age is 13 years of age.

to create a social media account. But again, this hasn’t stopped many underage children from signing up. In October, to your point, October this year, a major summit hosted by New South Wales government will bring together senior officials, policymakers, academics, as well as representatives from other jurisdictions, leading social media platforms and digital technologies. We should aim to try and get to that actually, I want to try and get to that event that that’d be a good summit to attend. I’ll be the…

so the summit will aim to examine and the latest evidence and developer response to growing community concern. I mean, it goes on and goes on, but yeah, at the end of the day, I mean, yes, the government should absolutely put their hand up. I mean, I understand the government is a big ship and it takes a lot of tugboats to move it and it’s slow. And it’s, I mean, right now I go, you look at those stats that I shared from like 2010 to 2020, we haven’t even seen the 2020 to 2024. Stats yet.

they will be exponential. Like if 200 % doesn’t move you 200 % on another 200 % should absolutely move you when you look at the numbers and statistics. You know, and this goes down into into far many deeper rabbit holes of what is trendy, as you mentioned, you know, when I was at school, it was trendy to smoke, you know, I had one puff, I wagged a school class.

against my own moral compass. I was like, no, I don’t want to let my mom down or what am I doing? But I did it. I hung out behind the pool, sat in that a cigarette. I was like, that’s disgusting. Why is this even cool? but I quickly got out of that one, but you know, we, we were never faced with these, real life changing monumental decisions. Like if, if you look at the introduction, Jordan Peterson was, it was a

was a big advocate of this who really put the spotlight on it. I think, and I know you’ve, you followed Jordan Peterson as well. And, you know, in 2017, Bill C 16 was coming into Canada, which was the legalization of essentially speech of, of all the pronouns and that you have to be, you have to call someone by this or else it’s illegal. And it takes away that freedom of speech. And, and now what it does though, is it indoctrinates children into you can identify as a bird, you can identify as a car, you can identify as a cat and there’s schools in America.

where teachers are bringing kitty litter into their class for their children who identify as a cat. Now we could go for hours on that. And I’m sure I’ve got some, some parents fired up about that right now. And trust me, I think we’re going to do an episode on it, one day, but to set the tone, this is all derived from social media. It’s the TikTok influencer who is dressed as a cat who says they are a cat. And for some reason they have created a following.

people who now believe that, maybe I am a cat. You know, I do like cats. So maybe, you know, I like to scratch. So maybe I’m a cat. Right. but that is, that is an, a by -product of this amazing tool that we have that I can call a mate right now who’s on the other side of the world and be instantly connected via FaceTime and, or, you know, via any message app that we have. And I,

we’re together, we’re connected. And that’s an amazing thing. But also the other side of it is someone on the other side could say something mean to me and it could actually hurt my feelings and send me down a place that isn’t good for me. Right? So with that being said, I mean, look, I’m definitely someone who probably leans a little bit hard on the government in a sense of, yeah, I expect more. Right. And that’s just what I think we should do. Because if you expect more,

then you might your voice or your, your thoughts might help move things along a little bit, right? At least move the conversation along. I’m happy the government are actually looking at this. I mean, how much data do you really need at 2020 should have got the starter and they should have had the conversation back then. But look, we are where we are right now. And at least something’s happening. But let’s talk about it from a parent’s perspective. What’s your thoughts? First of all, if you had to break down your reasoning,

Should children under 16 be banned from using social media or not? What do you got for me?

Ellen Brown (20:22)
Well, I think it’s not even a conversation. I think they probably should, but it’s not gonna make a difference. Like that isn’t going to be the answer. So I suppose it’s like, yes, but what does that actually mean? I don’t think it’ll make any difference. 1316, I think it’s going to be much more important about parents getting some support and information and.

really the education side of things as far as that for parents is probably more important than what the number is for kids. What I have seen is a surprise, like it has surprised me because I have great communication with my children, you know, and we talk about everything together, yet this is this thing that can slide in underneath without even knowing that it’s happening and all of a sudden social media can…

can intrude in your family without ever knowing it. And I wish as a parent that I had had more insight a few years back. And what I’m seeing is parents with kids that are younger are saying, yes, I’m not actually gonna get you a phone as early as the kids that are growing up with phones now. It’s not even uncommon for kids in primary school to have their own phone now. Whereas I’m seeing parents with the kids that are younger going, well, actually, no, in light of what we know now.

let’s drag that out. So I think there’ll be some big changes and I’m really pleased because at the end of the day as parents we can’t say, well we’ll just have great communication and we’ll be able to avoid the pitfalls of this. I think there has to be a hard line from parents and say actually no you’re not having access to this and that doesn’t come easy for me. I’m quite a talking through kind of a communication based parent but I have seen that

this isn’t something, you know, I might be interesting to listen to, but I’m not as interesting as people out there who are really trendy and they got their music going and they look the way they look. I can’t compete with that. I’ve just got to make some hard lines. And there is no other way around that. I’ve been, I’ve experienced a situation where there was an eating disorder that came directly from TikTok, you know? And so,

This is when TikTok was just starting out. It was during COVID and all of a sudden it was there before I knew it was there. We’d talked about things. We’d talked about healthy body image, but this is the result of that AI feed of, and the interesting part was that recently in the media, I saw another article about social media and kids and things like that. And it said, and here’s a couple of examples of.

And I could say, yes, that’s happened to our family. Yes, that’s actually happened in our family. And it was so common that they weren’t just throwing out random situations. They were talking about things like, you know, the situation where kids are being blackmailed online for money. You know, that’s actually happened in our family. So to discover that these things are not rare at all and that it’s happening everywhere has really brought me to support.

a very hard line that parents, as well as the communication, but a hard line that parents will need to take on restricting access because I think the number ban, it doesn’t make much difference.

Brett Campbell (23:49)
So restricting access for what and how often, what are your specific thoughts? Cause I’ve got some pretty hard lines on it as well. But something that I’m just gonna challenge to what you just said there is because you said it won’t make a difference. Now, maybe if the age ban, if that’s what you’re speaking about, the age ban won’t make a difference legally.

Ellen Brown (23:57)
Yeah. Yeah.

Yes, that’s the one, that’s the one, illegal one.

Brett Campbell (24:13)
Unless of course they incorporate fines and there’s ways that the government could literally lock that down. I mean, China do it. Their kids are only allowed an hour a day online and for their games. And at the end of like that in itself is, cause here’s the thing, we can cherry pick those things individually, right? But.

Ellen Brown (24:19)
Well, for China, yeah. Most countries are pure.

Brett Campbell (24:37)
there’s also other adverse effects that come along with that. Cause you can go, yeah, an hour a day, China is doing great. But then it’s like, yeah, but they also have this, that, that, that, that, that you have to adhere to now. But my point there around it is a lot of parents, most parents in aggregate, right? The average parents would not be communicating with their kids. They don’t even know what their kids are doing online. They don’t even know what apps their kids have on their phone. And,

They don’t even know what their kids are learning or exposed to at school. And that’s just, that’s just the facts, right? now we can say, parents need to need to pay more attention, which I absolutely agree. And at the end of the day, you can only lead a horse to water. You can’t help them drink it. Right. So, you know, it is an absolute responsibility of, of, of our parents. but it’s very, it’s, it’s, again, I’m speaking on behalf of most parents here, I believe is it’s very hard, right? How do you police all of that? Cause the exposure is just happening so quickly.

Like it’s like wildfire. It’s this one thing starts and then all of a sudden bang, it’s there. And you know, if you look at the indoctrination that someone needs, you could log into TikTok, start a new account within an hour. That thing will be just feeding you everything that you want. Like I went through it and I was like, I’m interested in how this interest, cause it’s an interest graph, right? Social media and Facebook and Instagram were generally all about, your, what you’re connected to and who you’re connected to. So it’ll show your followers.

Ellen Brown (25:51)
Yeah, TikTok’s dying.

Brett Campbell (26:05)
what they’re doing and what they’re up to. TikTok is an interest -based graph, which shows you interests and things you’re into. So majority of what you see isn’t from people you follow because it’s a broad range of the similar to same thing that keep you on the app, because that’s the whole point. It’s connected psychologically, releasing dopamine into your brain. So you’re like, this is so good. Like a crack addict just can’t get away from it. And again, I experienced that myself and consistently need to reassess and look at those things and…

Ellen Brown (26:07)
Yeah, but you.

Brett Campbell (26:35)
I’m the type of person that I, cause I was like, why don’t I just try an hour a day? I couldn’t. I’m like, if I’ve got a bag of lollies in the house, don’t expect that bag of lollies to be there in three days with half of the packet still there. As soon as it’s open, it’s gone. Now, again, that says more about me, but I understand my consumption and how I, how I consume certain things, social media included. That’s the other element of it as well. It’s the rules need to be very much carved out. I believe.

based off your child’s consumption and what their behavior is around it as well. Cause you’re going to get some kids who they’re best not to even have a phone. They can’t be trusted with any technology, right? Where you got others who might be. And again, it’s a hard, it’s a hard thing to, to uncover because it’s not a one size fits all solution.

Ellen Brown (27:25)
I’ll go out on a limb and say, I don’t see any benefit in having TikTok myself or on my kids’ phones. In our family, it seemed to be more of a, you know, the boys were less interested than my daughter was as far as TikTok. But I kind of think a bit like about human nature, you know, that whole slow down where there’s an accident, you know, on the side of the road. It’s not because you really want to see something terrible. It’s just that there’s something terrible. You think there’s something that draws you to see it.

Now the TikTok situation is the same way where you might go, well, you know, my child can have TikTok because they just love looking at puppy videos, let’s say. But what it does is it’ll throw something in there that’s like, what, what? There’s not the same governance even around what can be on there. Kids are exposed to seeing things you would never ever in your wildest dreams as an adult want to see because there is no rules around what’s being posted. Like people are posting things.

and they’re online as we all know for a long time before they’re removed. So, you know.

Brett Campbell (28:26)
But in saying that as well, they certainly do have tough regulations of what you can and can’t post. However, the issue is, it’s the things that aren’t deemed as bad, but it is. It’s the slow indoctrination of certain things. Now, obviously, if there’s murders and there’s porn and all of that, that should be eradicated absolutely immediately. But when you’ve got someone dressed as a cat sitting there going, meow, everyone, I’m a cat, you should be one too. You can’t delete that. Because there’s billions and billions of posts going up every single week.

on that platform. And if you’ve been exposed to one cat person, you’re going to get all of a sudden 12 different cat people on your feet and you’re like, shit, everyone is a cat. I should be a cat. Right? Like that’s just how it works. That’s the indoctrination piece of it. So it’s a

Ellen Brown (29:13)
It’s impossible. It’s impossible to, to for, you know, sometimes they’ll go, the tech, you know, it’s the tech giants, it’s their responsibility. But, you know, how do you, how do you govern something like, you know, a girl that comes on and goes, I only eat 200 calories a day. That’s, you know, if you can do that, you, you’re on your way to, you know, that kind of conversation and that building of, this is what everybody’s doing. You know, what am I doing? And,

they’ll never be able to get rid of those kinds of things, which are so destructive or even the self -harming thing, you know, or people talking about all those kinds of destructive mental health issues that we’re seeing. I just can’t see any benefit to having TikTok. It’s something that I have seen, you know, like, yeah.

Brett Campbell (30:01)
So let’s chat. I want to challenge that. I want to challenge that because why is there no benefit to having tick tock when now outside of, cause I can make an argument here for like Netflix. Okay. If you look at the biggest propaganda pieces that have filled the world over many years, it’s, it’s generally movies, right? Like it literally is like you sit there for two hours watching a narrative of something you’re like, my God, that’s how it is. And that’s, that’s exactly right. This is.

And again, you see it time and time again, and you look at all the introduction of what’s happened with Disney and you look at all the Bud lights and all of these different things. There’s this big moving towards, and this is big companies as well, leaning into and feeding the flames of, you know, and again, I’ll just go back to it as, as the example I’ve used all the time is, is the person who believes they’re a cat.

You’ve got people supporting that and going, if they want to be a cat, they can be a cat. It’s like, where in the, in, I mean, am I so far off the planet that I’m just wrong or naive to this, that it’s totally un, unright or uncalled to be feeding into someone’s, yeah, you’re a cat. Like that, that to me is, unfortunately, that’s, that’s a mental health consideration that that person needs to help.

not they, they need to be propped up on a pedestal to, spread more of what they’re talking about. But I go back to the point around tick -tock is the same argument as in look at music. I mean, like I, I, I, I love, and I was brought up on rap music, you know, hip hop, R and B. And I loved it because of the beat and because of the character.

But now as an adult and I was getting older, I’m sitting there listening to these lyrics. I’m just like, my God, I didn’t even know I was singing those lyrics. I like so degrading to majority of females yet you got females jumping up on a dance floor. Yeah. Like, and it’s like, I had this shift where I’m like, do you even know what you’re saying? Because this is degrading to you as a human. So it’s infused in our entire cultures, right? It’s infused in our cultures. So I mean,

There’s no stopping going, okay, we should not have TikTok. Cause then it’s like, why should we have Instagram? Why should we have Facebook? Why would she, why should we have any of them? And I don’t think that’s ever a, that’s an unending debate. Yeah. I look back at this and I go, should children under 16 be banned from social media? For me, it’s a hard yes. I truly believe it should be a hard yes due to the aggregate of it. Now, if you’re a parent and you’re like, but cause my child is 14 and they’re very emotionally intelligent. They’re this and that. And so I,

You know, there’s an argument for every side of it, but as an aggregate, as a rule, the reason why I could drive a car when I was 13, I could drive a car when I was 13, but it’s illegal for me to do it. And I get a fine and I’d get a slap around the butt with from my mom. If I did right. because that the law was, it was 15 when, when I got my, my first, my license, but there’s a reason why we have this. Now I know.

You know, the alcohol age is 18 in Australia, 21 in America, that blows my mind the difference there. You can drive a car and you can vote in America before you can have a drink of beer. However, in the same token, a lot of people break the rules, but as an aggregate, that’s how we need to be thinking about this. Now, if your child’s super special and you want to give them a, and you know that they aren’t going to fall down the self harm, the addiction trap. Firstly, I’d check, did you, you know, cause.

Whilst I said, I think Ayla would be a smart girl and I I’d be able to give her that because why would I want to her to go without that? And I’ll go, well, because 267 % increase in childhood anxiety and depression and that it’s like, that’s why. So I’m a hard, it should be banned. And I think, cause the argument for most parents is my child needs a phone. My, my mates, they have young, you know, young girl, just, you know, 10, 13,

And she doesn’t have a phone. Her friends have phones. She’s got this watch, the Apple watch, which tells you, you can speak in like it’s a specific kid’s one. I didn’t even know about it, but it’s used to call. You can only call your mom or your dad or whoever the contacts are in it. You can’t use it to connect with your friends or call your friends and do all of these things right now. yeah, there’s a GPS in it. You can see where your child is. Like, I mean, I didn’t have a GPS. Lucky. I didn’t have a GPS as a kid. what are you doing there? I don’t know.

Ellen Brown (34:44)

Brett Campbell (34:47)
But there’s other ways around it. We don’t need to fall back into a, but I need my phone because I need to be able to call my kid whenever it’s like there’s, there’s ways around it. And I just think that society and the world right now is in such a sad, unique position with where we’ve landed and what’s happening around the world right now. And a lot of it, well, all of it is being fueled by social media in some way, shape or form. Like it’s, it’s, and a child.

who’s 13, 14, 15, they can form opinions very quickly off something that is so insignificant that all of a sudden they have this paradigm of how this is because they seen a photo or a video or this influencer saying that they were XYZ. So I stand on the side of it should absolutely be banned. And I would 100 % want that major majority of children not to be on social media at all.

Not even a kid’s version of it. Like don’t, don’t create a Facebook for kids or this for kids. Cause that’s just the, the, the indoctrination into the next, the next thing. And I understand why they do it, but I just don’t think it’s, I just don’t think it’s, it’s valuable.

Ellen Brown (35:45)

Yeah, look, I totally agree. It’s really interesting to see how many people in their 20s have got off social media because they have come through the other end of it and thought that is actually destructive to me, you know? And so I find that really interesting that there’s this big group. And I think the hard part for parents of teenagers right now who have already had access to these things.

It is a tough one going, okay, well now it’s all banned, you know, get it all off your phone. It’s a tough one to be in, but that’s where communication has to come down. Or you just have to be the parent, which is really tough. And you just have to say, we’re not having that. It’s not beneficial. I have no doubt that parents in the future or the ones that are coming along will not even allow the kind of access that has happened over the last couple of years. I know that that’s certainly…

something that we have made some big changes on in our house as well.

Brett Campbell (37:00)
And what you just said, they’re big changes because it is big changes. Yeah. I was that parent. I was that person who I’d always be out at dinner and I’d look over to the table and I’d see kids on phones watching YouTube or something while their parents were eating. I’m like, wow, I never want to be like that. Like I, I want to sit and engage with my kids and have dinner and that was a false narrative because my goodness, sometimes we can’t even eat unless we give a la.

the phone to watch a video to keep her distracted. So again, my perspective has absolutely changed on that. But what I find happens is it can then be so easy to lead them down into, hey, yeah, go in your room for three hours on your phone and leave mom and dad to peace and we’re gonna watch a movie. And you don’t know what’s going on there, you know? So my advice for what it’s worth here, and again, I can’t speak from.

personal experience at this stage, but here’s the way in which I look at it and some things that you could do, because I understand cold Turkey is never generally a really good way to be able to eradicate something. It’s like, we’re no longer doing this. It’s like, wait on a minute. The shock to someone is just so, shocking that it’s, they then start to rebel against it or the next sniff of something they get the opportunity of that. Then, you know, it’s that doubling, doubling down and, you know, obviously you learned that in the health and wellness industry where.

You restrict someone of food for so long to lose weight. And then all of a sudden they bounce back because they’re like, my God, I haven’t had food. I need to gouge myself. Right? Same thing with this. What I’d be recommending is if you’re considering with your child and you’re like, you know what we do need to, we realize these statistics are far too, far too scary to ignore. Let’s look to reduce down. I mean, you can go on your mobile phone.

And this is crazy. Like you can literally go on your mobile phone and see how long you’ve been on it and your usage and where you’ve spent time on it by literally flicking over to the right. Now it’s that simple. It’s right there. Right. And I would be setting some parameters around with your children and start the reduction process, you know, and sit down with them as well and understand, like, tell me what you get from.

TikTok. Like what is it that you like and what do you enjoy from? What do you like from Facebook and this? Like, why do you use that app? Why do you have that? Talk to me and help understand because that in itself will give you a, a different insight into, you know, your child and why they’re doing what they’re doing. I’d even suggest you do it yourself. Ask yourself, why do you like TikTok? Why do you, why do you go onto TikTok? Why do you go on Instagram? Why do you go in and

Facebook, why do you go on any name the other app, Snapchat, all of those, there’s so many of them out there now. But those are the primary. Understand why you consume it first. And understand if is there another way that you could achieve that outcome via a different methodology, right? At the end of the day, it’s it’s all about the it’s it’s feeding something within us, right? chemically, and also emotionally and mentally, etc. But it’s starting the reduction process looking at okay,

If you do, if your kids on there for 10 hours a week or three hours a day, it’s like, maybe we should cut it down to two hours a day. Let’s this week, we’re going to go down to two hours. Okay. We’ve got a limit. Okay. And then we can slowly reduce it down to an hour. And then we’re like, you know what? Let’s pick your special app, one app a day or whatever the scenario is. There’s, there’s a tapering off process that you’re able to, to utilize. I think would be a very, very healthy start. And I’d suggest you do it with yourself too, because how can you get your child to be.

we’re pulled off social media if you’re not pulling yourself off. that sounded bad. if you want removing yourself from, from the, the trap itself, it’s like a big honey pot. you know, so that’s very important. If you’ve got younger children and you’re constantly on your phone and they see you constantly on your phone, whether you know it or not, you are indoctrinating them into, I can’t wait to hold that thing in front of my face all the time. Like my mom and dad, I don’t know what it is yet, but I want it.

Ellen Brown (40:54)
Thank you.

Brett Campbell (41:08)
Right? So be very, very aware of your own consumption and then put a plan in place to help your children or child, ease the pressure off as well. Any final, any final thoughts, Ellen?

Ellen Brown (41:20)
Yeah, what I’d like to add to that is I totally agree that easing off is a better thing because otherwise you’re going to have that huge rebellion on the other side of that and that’s not helpful to anyone. But what I would say is start talking about what you’re going to do instead of. And that means a bit of work as a parent. It meant that I had to go and do a bit more up and down the mountain with the mountain bikes and on the back and actually

organizing some more face -to -face time with friends and sometimes it meant getting a heap of other people together for a soccer game, things like that, that I actually had to do to make sure that if that time isn’t spent there, that they’re developing the skills again to find activities that they can do that’s outside the phone. That doesn’t come easily. You’ve got to put a bit of work into it and some suggestions, the heaps of ideas that you can get online. Spend some time with them, finding some, you know, there’s like,

101 things to do that’s not on a screen. Print one of those out. See if you can get some conversation going and some new hobbies that they can take up so that they can see it as a positive rather than something’s being taken from them. What can you give back to their life or put into their life that’s going to be exciting and something that can compete with that anyway.

Brett Campbell (42:38)
Yeah. Yeah, it’s a very, very tough topic. And yeah, my where I where I sit with my stance of a hard no. I mean, I’ll preface that very, very slightly with there are nuances to this, right. And at the end of the day, as a parent, it’s in your control what you what you can do, and what you should do. And that’s really where it starts, right? It starts with us. And it, it

It’s hard because I’ve noticed myself even sometimes I’m like, if I’m just tired, I’m exhausted. You know, I’ve had a big day in the office. I’m just like, I come inside and, and I, yeah, play with Ailer after, after work and then we get ready for dinner and so forth. Sometimes it’s like, let me turn, turn on the TV just so you can watch it. So I can have 10 minutes myself now that’s, yeah, for me, that’s personally, that’s fine, but I’ve got to catch myself going, am I just.

Am I putting here in front of that because I don’t want to play with her. I don’t have the energy to play over. Well, that’s just the easy solution. There’s times where that happens, right? I do it when we’re out at dinner. Sometimes we’re at breakfast. It’s like, Hey, yeah, this will just allow me to eat my, my breakfast. So it doesn’t go cold. and, look, it’s, there’s nuances to all of this. It’s a very tough, complex situation, but all I would always say is at the end of the day, we always, and I believe fundamentally as a parent, it’s your absolute right to.

and your obligation to make sure that we’re doing the best that we all can progressing forward in the right direction for the safety and for the overall benefit of our children, right? Because our children will produce children and children and children. And, you know, that’s the whole essence as to why we’re here. And I think the better that we can do. It doesn’t take much either, you know, like you only need to…

If you’re in a friends group of half dozen friends or something where you’re pretty tired and you connect frequently, it only takes one or two of you to make a change. And then that then will be like, I’ve been wanting to do that too. Yeah, we’re going to do that. Let’s try it. And it can, things can change just as quickly as it sort of declined in many ways as well. It just takes a bit of effort and energy from ourselves. So I’ll hop off my soapbox right there, but Ellen, thank you for engaging in this conversation with me.

we will, there’ll be many more of these as sort of things progress. and, as, as a little bit of a sneak peek, we do have someone, a special guest joining us in the studio in the next few weeks, where we’ll be diving into this topic of, you know, mental health and, and, everything surrounding that within our children and, be able to provide some really practical, you know, tips and, and, and know -hows on how we can.

incorporate into everyday life. So I look forward to that. Ellen, thank you so much. And to you, the amazing listener. Thank you for tuning in. If you got value from this, please do share this episode. If you haven’t shared any episode yet, and you’ve at least listened to two, please share this one. This we believe is this is a message that needs to be heard. This is a message that you know, I want as many parents as we possibly can. And, and again, if you disagree with anything that myself and Ellen said, let us know with this is a this is a conversation, right? We don’t sit here.

to profess to know everything. These are our opinions based off our experiences and what we’ve seen and know, et cetera, but always open to hearing. How do you govern social media? Do you think it should be banned? Do you think it shouldn’t be? Let us know and we can continue this very, very important conversation. So until the next one, thank you so much for tuning in.