Congress is considering banning the Chinese government-controlled social media platform TikTok. For some, this ban is about national security. For others, it’s about the safety and sanity of our children.  

Today, nearly half of all teens use social media “almost constantly.” Sixty-three percent of them use TikTok, making it the second most used social media platform behind YouTube. 

Some claim that banning TikTok could lead to catastrophic consequences for teens’ mental health. For many teens, according to one Twitter user, “TikTok is their identity.” In other words, they’re addicted, so losing it could lead to mental distress. 

Such an abrupt shift may certainly cause distress, but social media has long fueled anxiety and depression. As Jean Twenge has noted, teens who spend more time behind screens are at a higher risk for depression.  

Thankfully, teens are more than their online personas, likes, follows, or friends. They are embodied persons whose happiness and wholeness depend on living in the real world. Any effort to help them do that is a step in the right direction. 

Copyright 2024 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from with permission.