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Get kids off social media. Here’s how to make sure what they see online

Control your kids’ algorithm by limiting their social media access.

Summer is here, and with kids at home, it’s almost inevitable that they’ll spend more time on social media. As parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure they’re safe from harmful, inappropriate content.

Nate Webb, a former high school counselor and current partner with the non-profit Save the Kids, shared how we can protect our kids from the dangers of the algorithm.


Understanding Social Media Algorithms

Nate believes that parents need to understand what’s on their kids’ social media algorithms, but what exactly is an algorithm? In Nate’s words, “The algorithm is just a bunch of code that predicts digital behavior. It says, ‘I think you’re going to want to look at this type of content.’”

What Are Social Media Algorithms Showing Our Kids?

The content shown by social media algorithms is very specific to our young men and women, according to Nate. For girls, especially young teens, he said it shows a lot of beauty, fitness, and body image content. The deeper they go, it can show them a lot of self-harm and eating disorder content. For young men, they see a lot of hyper sexualization.

How Can We Ensure That Algorithms Are Safer?

Nate believes the best way to keep their algorithm safe is to get your kids off social media. The best algorithm is real life. If they are on social media at a young age, it should be on their parent’s phone. This way, when they’re on the account, they’re sitting right next to you. “It’s like training wheels,” Nate said.

He also encouraged transparency and communication with kids. “Anything you’re scared talking to your kid about, your kid is going to go to Google. Take the power back and teach them what that thing is, so that it’s no longer a thing of curiosity. It’s a boring thing,” Nate explained.

To learn more about Save the Kids, you can find them on Instagram @savethekidsinc, and Nate @realnatewebb.

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