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Child Psychologist Believes a National Social Media Ban for Underage Kids Would Be Beneficial

Implementing a social media ban for children is considered the best option for their wellbeing, but concerns have been raised about the practicality of enforcing it.

According to one expert, all Australian states should enforce a ban on social media access for children, with a consistent minimum age limit across the nation. Rachael Sharman, a child psychologist and researcher from the University of Sunshine Coast, emphasized the negative impact of social media on child and adolescent wellbeing.

South Australia and New South Wales are already exploring restricting social media access based on age limits. South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas is considering a ban for children under 14, requiring parental consent for those aged 14 and 15 to access social media. New South Wales Premier Chris Minns believes children should be at least 16 to use social media.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese supports these measures, citing concerns about children accessing inappropriate content on social media. The federal government has launched an inquiry into the impact of social media on Australian society, including age verification measures.

Enforcing a minimum age limit for social media poses challenges, with questions about how authorities would verify ages and ensure compliance. Policy specialist Rob Nicholls from the University of Sydney suggested supervised screentime and device access limitations by parents as potential solutions, but noted challenges with implementation and privacy concerns.

As the discussion continues on the feasibility and effectiveness of a social media ban for children, ensuring their safety and wellbeing remains a top priority for policymakers and parents.

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