During the first week of August, with the start of school clearly in sight, Utah’s director of the Office of Families stood with Gov. Spencer Cox and said the following:

“This campaign is going to help our parents understand what’s behind these masks that these kids are wearing,” said Aimee Winder Newton, who also serves as a senior advisor. The “masks” children wear hide a range of emotions that include fear, uncertainty, loneliness and questions of worth that left unnoticed, can lead to horrible, painful consequences.

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And with every passing day the evidence grows stronger that social media is causing much of the harm, with 88% of Utah parents saying social media has a detrimental impact on the mental health and well-being of children, according to research quoted by the governor’s office.

I sat down with Newton to hear not just what the problem is, but what parents can do to help their children drop the mask and understand the need to if not eliminate social media, use it responsibly.

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Included are five important steps families can take to make decisions to help their children thrive.

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