French experts advocate strict limits on child screen time

In a comprehensive report commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron, a team of experts cautioned against excessive screen time and social media exposure for children. The recommendations, released on Tuesday, advocate for a complete ban on screen time for children under three, with stringent limitations up to the age of six.

Furthermore, the panel suggested that children under 11 should not possess mobile phones, while those under 13 should refrain from owning devices with internet access. Social media usage is discouraged for individuals under 15, with a preference for ethical platforms like Bluesky for older teens.

Highlighting the detrimental effects, the experts noted that social media can contribute to depression and anxiety, exposing children to alarming levels of inappropriate content. The report emphasized a consensus on the adverse impacts of screen time on health, development, and societal well-being.

Criticism was directed at tech companies for their “predatory practices,” including features like infinite scrolling and automatic video playback. Macron’s stance aligns with his proposal for a minimum online age of 15, echoing efforts by his Renaissance party to regulate screen time in educational settings.

While the report exceeds current WHO guidelines, advocating for stricter measures, the implementation of legislation remains uncertain, with no clear timeline established. Macron’s administration continues to explore avenues for enhanced training on screen time management and increased regulation in schools.