Algorithms and Gen Alpha

Parents of Gen Alpha must take this seriously. I speak to many parents about social media; they worry that their kids will talk to predators or be exposed to explicit self-harm and suicidal content — which are, of course, real risks. But there is also something more pernicious, and more destabilizing happening. Something we have to get ahead of. Because maybe it seems like your child is simply watching some makeup tutorials, following some mental health influencers, or experimenting with their identity. But let me tell you: they are on a conveyor belt to someplace bad. Whatever insecurity or vulnerability they are struggling with, they will be pushed further and further into it.

What I would say to the parents of Gen Alpha is: don’t let your children open accounts on social media platforms when they are still in early puberty. Delay their entry until at least 16. Prioritize their in-person interactions, and encourage them to discover who they are from real-world experiences, not manipulative algorithms.

--"Algorithms Hijacked My Generation. I Fear For Gen Alpha.", Freya India

I'm a little wary of fear mongering w/r/t social media and technology, but the truth is my escape from nearly all social media (damn you, YouTube) has been monumental for my own day to day mental health. Not even in a clinical sense. I just feel happier, more connected, less anxious.

And the above is why we still have not allowed our kiddos to have phones. They occasionally use devices for school or a few minutes of searching for something, but we have tried to be very intentional about the internet being a tool, not something to just scroll through and be fed by. Here's to hoping we can stick it out, because I have the same concerns as Freya.

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