'Children are glued to screens!' Miriam Cates MP calls for smartphone BAN for kids - 'Irreparable damage'

'Children are glued to screens!' Miriam Cates MP calls for smartphone BAN for kids - 'Irreparable damage'

Miriam Cates claims children 'glued to screens'

GB News
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 14/05/2024

- 18:13

Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge Miriam Cates urged the government to consider banning under 16s from social media and smartphones

  • Do you think that smartphones are harmful to under 16s?
  • Join in the debate in the comments section

Miriam Cates has called for under-16s to be banned from using smartphones as she claimed: "If they were a drug, phones would be removed from the market."

Speaking to GB News the Conservative MP explained that "smartphones and social media are causing irreparable damage to childhood".

She said: "Whatever measure you look at, whether it's increasing suicides, self-harm, rising anxiety and depression, children feeling that their lives are lonely or not worth living.

"All these things have rocketed since smartphones and social media became widely adopted by children from 2014 onwards.

\u200bMiriam Cates

Miriam Cates has called for under-16s to be banned from using smartphones

GB News

"It hasn't just happened in the UK, it has happened around the world, and we're now seeing the impact in this, in children's mental health, in educational attainment, in all sorts of ways.

"Younger and younger, with even small children now having their development held back by being glued to screens rather than experiencing the physical world as our brains are designed to be.


"And so I think there's there's growing consensus that more needs to be done by the Government.

"Certainly, if social media and smartphones were a drug they would be withdrawn from the market.

"They've never been shown to be safe to children. They were never designed for children. And yet somehow we're allowing these enormous tech companies constant access into our children's lives through the digital world."

When asked what she would do to fix the problem, the MP said: "I think there's a wide range of solutions. I proposed seven things that the Government could do this morning.


The debate happened in parliament today 


"Firstly, we need to raise the age of social media from 13 to 16. We need to make sure that age verification works. So you can't just tick a box and say you're 16, but actually you're 12.

"I think there's a lot more that the tech companies need to do. We need to get a grip on internet pornography because that is harming particularly young boys.

"But it is also affecting young girls and there is a wide range of things that the Government could do.

"If we think back to Covid, the Government passed a huge piece of legislation in just 24 hours."

\u200bMiriam Cates

Miriam Cates claimed that children are "glued to their screens"

GB News

She added: "So how can anybody say that we can't do something in the last six months of Parliament that will seriously rescue our children?"

She told a Westminster Hall debate earlier today that "our kids are not OK" with rising mental health issues.

Constant notifications were "causing extreme disruption in schools", she added.

Cates asked for the debate and told GB News that it was a "very well-attended debate with some very compelling contributions from a whole wide range of MPs".

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