Proposals to address impact of social media on children

social media

Two Senators recently put forward new proposals aimed at addressing the significant pressures social media is placing on young people. The motion, will call for a series of measures including examining legislation to enforce the digital age of consent and better education on the impact of social media. It will also call for an obligation to be placed on smartphone and social media companies to issue alert mental health warnings to users at 30 minute intervals.

The motion also outlines the need to promote, via a public information campaign, the benefits of a digital detox and develop healthier habits for screen time management among children which will warn about the impacts of constant use of smartphones including social isolation and anxiety. Fine Gael Senators also want stricter regulation on the design and marketing of apps and online content targeted at children in a bid to minimise harmful influences. The motion also outlines how the Senators want to legislate to impose a smartphone ban on ownership for any person aged 13 and under. 

Senator Tim Lombard said: “As a parent, it can be quite overwhelming that our children have unlimited access to information through the internet. “This important Bill will put an obligation on smartphone and social media companies to issue alerts to users in 30-minute intervals to protect the mental health of young people who are seeing things online that are not age appropriate and may be detrimental to their well-being. “A public awareness campaign to encourage people to participate in a digital detox could be a positive step in preventing increased anxiety levels and we could all do with spending less time on our phones. “We can’t stand back anymore and point the finger at who is responsible for managing the impact smartphones are having on our children.

“Legislators, parents and technology companies need to step up to protect the young people of Ireland. “This is essential if we are to stop the scourge of social media impacting our children but also to protect children from the harmful content they are exposed to,” Mr Lombard added.

Speaking recently Senator Mary Seery Kearney said: “This motion is an important opportunity to discuss the significant harm social media is causing for children across this country.

“It recognises that this is not the job of one person to address but that a whole of society approach is needed to ensure there is an awareness that children’s attention is being monopolised and monetised for profit. “Children, and indeed everyone using smartphones, need to be informed to foster resilience against manipulation, misinformation, and harmful narratives.”

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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