Gary Chapman: Social Media Has Ruined Childhood for the Kids

Feb 16, 2023

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Gary Chapman in studio to comment upon the social media plague inflicted on kids and teenagers.

Leahy: We are delighted, as always, to have in studio for a fresh perspective on the world, our newest all-star panelist, singer-songwriter, Gary Chapman. Gary, we had sitting in the same seat that you are right now yesterday, the new attorney general.

Chapman: I could feel an aura of power. I felt it.

Leahy: Power and justice.

Chapman: Yes, indeed.

Leahy: Power and justice and a constitutional conservative.

Chapman: I know him yet. Good dude? You like him?

Leahy: Absolutely. The best attorney general in the country. A conservative rock star.

Chapman: Good grief.

Leahy: A very measured, humble person. Fascinating.

Chapman: I’m anxious to meet him.

Leahy: We talk about irony right here off on News Potpourri, which is coming up at 7:49 a.m., folks.

Chapman: Cannot wait.

Leahy: Cannot wait! But we talk about irony. And, you know, I’ve been such a critic of the method by which an attorney general is selected here because the only state in the union where the attorney general is selected by wait for it…the state Supreme Court in a violation of the separation of powers. Every other 44 states elect them.

Others have the legislature. And so I’ve been criticizing that. And it’s an eight-year term. I’ll tell you what, our the five members of the Supreme Court, they picked the best guy for that job, and he’s been in office since September 1st. Listen to what he’s doing. He was in talking about this, and I heard him say this, and I said, well, that’s just fabulous. He and the attorney general of Colorado are leading a 50-state coalition. That’s every state.

Chapman: That’s all of them so far.

Leahy: That’s all of them so far.

Chapman: But wait, Idaho is going to split.

Leahy: (Laughs) But it’s a 50-state coalition, and they are looking at the impact of social media on kids. And it’s a very serious problem we have in the country, social media. And wait, there’s more.

He’s going to hold town halls across the state to get impact and witness statements, if you will, from families who’ve been impacted, whose children have been impacted, and harmed by social media.

Chapman: That is a fabulous idea.

Leahy: Isn’t that a great idea?

Chapman: Yes.

Leahy: Because everybody says, oh, social media has ruined the country, ruined the kids. And I think it is.

Chapman: It’s ruined many adults. So I know it has the kids.

Leahy: But the kids, it’s a different world now. If they’re on social media, they’re prone to be bullied. They’re prone to get depressed. They look at everybody else, and social media creates the impression everybody else, all of your friends are having fun except for you.

Chapman: You’re not making it.

Leahy: You’re not making it. And therefore, kids get depressed. And of course, the people that are posting this are just posting it so that other people will think they’re having all that much fun.

Chapman: They’re lying.

Leahy: Maybe or maybe not.

Champman: We’re teaching them to lie. We are.

Leahy: I saw this one report about teenage girls.

Chapman: Oh, man.

Leahy: Mental health problems, particularly teenage girls. It’s like 30 percent of teenage girls have contemplated suicide. This is a society and a culture of just teenage girls imploding.

Chapman: Teenage girls.

Leahy: I’ll tell you what Attorney General Skrmetti said about the duty and responsibility of social media companies. He said they basically this is what he said. The social media products, the platform, you know who all of them are, have been refined and refined and refined to be as addictive as possible.

And the companies have done extensive research to figure out how to make it hard for people to stop using their products. And this addiction to social media has led to a disruption in brain development, this is me talking of young kids.

Chapman: There’s no question, though. There’s no question.

Leahy: And they get depressed now, these town halls, and we’re going to be there because I think this is going to be…

Chapman: I want to go. Absolutely.

Leahy: The town halls are going to be let me just check and see where they’re going to be. March 2nd in Clarksville, March 9th in west Tennessee. I don’t know exactly where, but we’ll tell you where. Probably Germantown or something like that. And then March 27 in Chattanooga.

And so basically, the town hall meetings are part of an investigation that this 50-state coalition led by Attorney General Skrmetti and the attorney general of Colorado is doing on the effects of social media on kids and the mental health aspect of social media on teenagers, specifically. I’m telling you, I think the testimony at these town halls will be heartbreaking.

Chapman: Heartbreaking. Absolutely it will. Eye-opening and heartbreaking. It’s okay to get your heart broken if something good happens out of it. Not for the person that got broke, but to hear a heartbreaking story is what I mean.

Leahy: So here’s the thing. In Missouri, Senator Josh Hawley who is a very strong, conservative Republican.

Chapman: I like him for the moment. Yes.

Leahy: He’s introduced legislation that would prohibit anybody under the age of 16 from using social media.

Chapman: Now, I think it’s a fabulous idea. It would be difficult to police, but I think it’s a fabulous idea. I think they’d be better off taking a walk in the woods then they would staring at their phone inside.

Leahy: And then looking at everybody else that they know having more fun than them.

Chapman: What do you think the head of diversity training at Facebook makes? What’s his salary? Her salary?

Leahy: Half a million, I’m sure, for ruining your kids, basically.

Chapman: To not think it’s about control. And I liked that fellow previously. I’d like to talk with him more.

Leahy: But I think he’s a little bit left of center.

Chapman: I kind of got that. It felt that way. To think that that’s not nefarious and really about control. And I love the name that he came up.

Leahy: Diversity industrial complex.

Chapman: I think I think that’s a close second, though, in my opinion, to Satan and his minions.

Leahy: I think it’s right. I shouldn’t be laughing at that. No, it’s a good phrase. I have an idea for you, Gary.

Chapman: Go.

Leahy: You’re very good at crafting a phrase. I’ve heard you might be able to make a living doing that somehow.

Chapman: I thought about songs, but you can’t make a living doing that anymore. T-shirts. I can sell T-shirts. I can sell T-shirts at Come on over. They’re all funny.

Leahy: I think you’re exactly right, Gary. First, let’s go back to the idea that for kids under 16, being on social media, Facebook, Twitter, whatever, the other TikTok, the Chinese Communist Party-owned TikTok, Instagram, what else that it is, is harmful pretty much to every kid that’s on to their mental health.

Chapman: Zero question about it. When you and I were kids, the only way you knew you were ugly is when you looked in the mirror. Now you’ve got thousands of people telling you that you are.

Leahy: And even if you’re not.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.