Tommy Wright: Social media madness

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

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Tommy WrightParents matter. That was one of our major themes in 2021, and it looks like it’s going to be a major theme in 2023 as well, as House Democrats seem to have learned nothing from their experiences and the anger voiced by their constituents.

Speaking at an event late last month, two Northern Virginia Democrats said the quiet part out loud regarding parental involvement in their children’s lives.

Study after study has found that social media can have a harmful impact on teens, especially teenage girls.

The Mayo Clinic conducted a 2019 study of more than 6,500 12- to 15-year-olds in the U.S. found that those who spent more than three hours a day using social media might be at heightened risk for mental health problems.

Another 2019 study of more than 12,000 13- to 16-year-olds in England found that using social media more than three times a day predicted poor mental health and well-being in teens.

A 2016 study of more than 450 teens found that greater social media use, nighttime social media use and emotional investment in social media — such as feeling upset when prevented from logging on — were each linked with worse sleep quality and higher levels of anxiety and depression.

Governor Youngkin sent down an amendment to a bill that would have required parental consent for minors to have social media accounts.

Not only would this ensure that parents can keep an eye on their children’s use of social media, but it would also have protected their data from ages 13-17.

But Democrats would have no part of it, killing the amendment outright on a party-line vote.

“I mean, it’s just all a part of this parental crap that they’re selling”; a Democrat said in the recording.

“This is why we have to keep the Senate … because the House is in the hands of the Republicans, and they can push through all kinds of stupid things. We rely on the Senate to kill it all”; another Democrat stated.

The contrast could not be clearer: Republicans want to protect children from the harms of social media by putting parents in the loop.

Democrats think the idea of parental involvement is wrong. It is time for our children to experience how precious life is without being glued to a phone or tablet. I commend the governor for wanting what is best for Virginia families.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at or (804) 698-1061.