By Chris Teale
December 8, 2021 at 6:00 am ET
More than 70 percent of voters said they support teaching students about the benefits and risks of social media in schools, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll, which comes after the Florida Senate advanced a bill that would require such a practice in the state’s public schools.
Florida State Sen. Danny Burgess (R), the bill’s sponsor, said during a Senate education committee hearing last month that the legislation is necessary as children are “losing their innocence” every day. The bill also comes after recent revelations on the mental health impacts of Instagram on young girls and several federal congressional hearings regarding social media.
Burgess said many parents are not savvy with social media, so educators can step in to help young people understand its risks and benefits.
Experts said that as social media has become more important, legislation that provides education to young people on it will become necessary.
“Kids these days are growing up in a world where everything takes place online just as much as it takes place in real life,” said Ashley Johnson, a senior policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. “Teaching them how to live in that world, it makes sense. It’s a smart decision, and it could also potentially give them skills that they need for the workplace, because social media can be a great tool for professional development as well.”
The survey was conducted Dec. 4-6, 2021, among 2,000 registered voters and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
Chris Teale previously worked at Morning Consult as a reporter covering technology.