After Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Munroe saw a video created by three Central Bucks South High School students, he knew he wanted to work with them.
The video, made by Max Jin, Luka Jonjic and Dylan Schwartz as part of C-SPAN’s national video competition, examined the impact of social media on teens.
Titled “America’s Silent Struggle,” it details the harsh effects social media can have on youths’ mental health.
“When I met Max, Luka and Dylan, I challenged them to follow the recommendation of their own video,” and write a legislative bill, said Munroe, a Democrat representing the 144th District, during a recent news conference at Tamanend Middle School in Warrington.
“This was a cry for help for a generation suffering the brunt of social media’s impact,” said Munroe. “Soaring rates of anxiety, self-esteem issues and depression. All while social media companies rake in profits, with minimal accountability.
“We met, discussed and drafted the language of this bill and it’s all thanks to their initiative and understanding of what was happening to their fellow students,” said the lawmaker.
In his remarks at the event, Schwartz shared his personal experience of depression, where, he said, “hours spent scrolling through my phone and searching for something to pull me out of this rabbit hole, I only found myself falling deeper into it.”
Working on the video and helping craft the legislation, Schwartz said, has offered him hope.
“Being able to stand alongside these amazing people here on stage, knowing about the difference we can make in people’s lives ahead, is nothing short of marvelous,” he said.
House Bill 2017 calls for:
1. Social media companies to monitor the chats of two or more minors on the platform and notify parents or legal guardians of flagged content.
2. Strengthened proof-of-age verification on social media platforms by requiring consent from a parent or legal guardian for anyone under 16 to open a social media account. The bill would require social media platforms to notify parents or legal guardians if a child under 16 opens a social media account without consent.
3. Prohibitions on data mining for users under the age of 18 and provisions for any individual to request the deletion of data mined while they were under 18.
More on the bill can be found here: