Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

MI Educator: Engage With Your Kids' Social Media Use


Wednesday, May 11, 2022   

During Mental Health Awareness Month, experts, parents and health professionals are spotlighting the effects of screens and social media on young people's mental well-being.

This weekend, the University of Michigan is holding a Digital Wellness Symposium for middle schoolers and caregivers.

Liz Kolb, clinical associate professor of education technologies at the University of Michigan, who helped develop the symposium, said many young students have questions about being online and social media, but they do not always talk to their parents or caregivers about it.

She noted while reasons vary, some young people may worry about losing device privileges.

"For some, it's a way for them to have some positive growth and to stay connected with friends and family, especially during the pandemic," Kolb explained. "For others, they do struggle with some drama around their devices. And so it's important to be able to have these conversations."

The symposium will have opportunities for open and honest dialogue about Internet and social media use, as well as guest speakers; both experts on child wellness and U of M students.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager turned whistleblower, leaked details last year, including about how the platform's algorithms can make body image issues worse for some young people.

Meta, Facebook's parent company, said it has adequate internal policies in place to protect users and kids, but Haugen pointed out there are no federal regulations.

"If we hold children's toys to a product liability standard -- where you need to demonstrate you did safety by design, you know -- why aren't we asking the same thing of these virtual products for children?" Haugen questioned. "Especially as we move into the land of the 'metaverse,' which is going to be an emergent harm."

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced the Kids Online Safety Act, to force tech platforms to, among other things, offer the option to disable certain addictive features and opt out of content chosen by algorithm. The bill has not seen action since February.

Kolb added it is also important to recognize healthy online behavior for one person may not be the same for another. She urged caregivers to engage in social media with their child.

"Sit down with them, set up the profile with them, talk about privacy settings, talk about notifications," Kolb outlined. "Maybe turning those off at certain hours, so it doesn't add stress levels, and do it with them. Get on TikTok even if you're not a TikTok-er, so that you can see what they're doing, and you can see what it's all about."

get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021