“Social Media: Kids’ Friend or Foe?”,

Tammy Rodriguez’s daughter Selena died in 2021 at the age of 11 due to an addiction to social media. Selena had been diagnosed with ADHD at age five and had become obsessed with her likes, followers, cyberfriends, and cyberbullies. This addiction led her to take an overdose of her mother’s medication after posting a video to her Snapchat story. Rodriguez’s case became the first in a multi-district litigation against social-media giants like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. Rodriguez contacted the Social Media Victims Law Center, which represents over 1,500 parents and about 100 filed cases. The law center’s founder, Matthew Bergman, aims to get the cases to discovery, which is paramount in reforming the industry. Social media reform advocates like Kristin Bride lost her 16-year-old son, Carson, to suicide in 2020 after being relentlessly bullied on two of Snapchat’s anonymous messaging apps. Bride and other parents founded the Online Harms Prevention work group, which has since grown to over 40 members, all parents. The group worked with Senator Richard Blumenthal in drafting the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), which would require social-networking sites to prevent minors from seeing content related to self-harm, suicide, drugs, and eating disorders. These efforts aim to hold social media companies responsible for mental-health issues among kids and teenagers, the decline in mental health across the country, and the encouragement of addiction, extremism, and hatred for the sake of engagement.