A push by lawmakers to raise the minimum age for social media to 16 years old is heating up, as America's youth continues to ward off society's mental health crisis.
HAWLEY INTRODUCES TWO BILLS TO PROTECT KIDS FROM EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA, RAISE AGE REQUIREMENT TO 16
Senior policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum Kelsey Bolar joined "Cavuto Live" to weigh in on Sen. Josh Hawley's newly introduced bill that plans to combat the crisis, applauding him for starting a controversial, but "very important" conversation.
"This was a proposal put forth by Sen. Josh Hawley, and I do give him a lot of credit for starting a very important conversation regarding the harmful effects of social media on children. We know that children and adults have very different brains. Children's brains are very impressionable. We also know there's a mental health crisis among children right now, and social media is directly tied to that," Bolar argued to host Neil Cavuto.
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Hawley's bill, the Making Age-Verification Technology Uniform, Robust, and Effective Act (MATURE Act,) would place a minimum age requirement of 16 years old for all social media users, preventing platforms from offering accounts to those who do not meet the age threshold.
Bolar pointedly remarked that there are "no shortage of studies" proving that social media has a harmful effect on children's development.
"There are no shortage of studies, at this point, showing the harmful effects of social media on children's brains. And so, it is about time as a nation, as a culture, we have a serious conversation about how we are going to protect our children from the downsides of social media. I do think there's a role for government here," Bolar urged.
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Despite this, approximately 38% of children between the ages 8 to 12 and 84% of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 are using social media, according to The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens.
Host Neil Cavuto raised an important question to Bolar, asking: "How you would enforce something like this on devices within a family?"
"Enforcing this type of law would certainly be where much of the debate would get very heated and complicated. But we do know we don't let children watch R-rated movies. We don't let them access certain types of content online. It's interesting to me that these tech geniuses in Silicon Valley haven't yet figured out a way to limit social media to certain age groups," Bolar answered.
"They seem to be able to do everything, and they also seem to know when it comes to their own children the harmful effects of social media, because we know it's those very people who are banning social media within their own families, with their own children. But then they can't do parents a favor and maybe figure out an easier way for parents to manage this and limit it."
Bolar concluded, urging parents nationwide to "step up" before it's too late.
"There's also an important role for parents to step up and not just rely on legislation or government officials' advice. It is really important for parents to take a role in limiting social media access for their young children," she said, Saturday.
FOX Business' Kyle Morris contributed to this report.