If I had my way, I would eradicate TikTok in a heartbeat.

Social media, in general, has become one of the greatest threats to the West and our youth today. It’s time we treat it as such.

TikTok, in particular, as far as I am concerned, has nothing valuable to offer society. It has no saving grace. The wildly popular social media platform fosters meaninglessness and boredom, feeds our addictions, foists gender insanity on susceptible minds, and glamorizes mental illness. That it also mines our private data for the Chinese Communist Party is only a secondary concern.

TikTok and social media more broadly are destroying the moral strength of our nation from the inside out.

The most powerful civilization in the history of the world has bowed at the feet of a dance video-sharing app.

We ought to be ashamed.

Thankfully, states such as Utah have started taking aggressive action against Big Tech to protect minors from its addictive influence. Utah Governor Spencer Cox recently signed the Social Media Regulation Act, for example, which will “sharply restrict children’s use of social media platforms.”

“Under the legislation, which takes effect next year, social media companies have to verify the ages of all users in the state, and children under age 18 have to get permission from their parents to have accounts,” CNN’s Kara Alaimo reports. “Parents will also be able to access their kids’ accounts, apps won’t be allowed to show children ads, and accounts for kids won’t be able to be used between 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. without parental permission.”

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Many are up in arms about the new law. “Vox,” for example, reported that the “scary” Social Media Regulation Act may mark “the end of internet anonymity.” They suggested it might actually worsen a minor’s social media experience. Others have criticized the legislation for a perceived lack of enforceability.

Nevertheless, the sentiment that we must do something to protect our kids from Big Tech is generally bipartisan. Even President Joe Biden wrote an op-ed urging both parties to unite on this issue.

“The risks Big Tech poses for ordinary Americans are clear,” he warned. “Big Tech companies collect huge amounts of data on the things we buy, on the websites we visit, on the places we go and, most troubling of all, on our children. As I said last year in my State of the Union address, millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma and mental health. We must hold social-media companies accountable for the experiment they are running on our children for profit.”

But despite having identified a very real problem, both parties have made a mistake in turning solely to government to solve the problem.

While conservatives are predominantly united in their disdain for apps such as TikTok, to rely on top-down legislation to enforce how Americans use technology in the privacy of their own homes flies in the face of conventional conservative wisdom.

This does not mean that Gov. Cox made a mistake in cracking down on minors’ access to social media. In fact, I would urge all states to follow his lead.

That being said, the only reason we’re in this mess, to begin with, is because we failed at self-governance.

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If parents, churches, and communities were functioning properly, rearing our kids responsibly, we would not need the government to keep them in line.

Should 10-year-olds even have phones? Should teens have open access to social media? For how many hours per day?

These are not questions any governor should have to answer. The fact that it now falls on politicians to protect our kids proves, more than anything, we are facing a serious parenting crisis.

We must remember the same conditions that lead teenagers to spend hours on social media in the first place would still exist even if social media were wiped from the face of the earth. We have an underlying problem we must deal with, which is something the government cannot and should not be responsible for.

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Vivek Ramaswamy made this point powerfully when he said, “[conservatives] say things like ‘Facebook knew that teen girls were suffering… body image insecurity issues as a consequence of using Instagram… and they [Facebook] didn’t do something about it.’ [But] I think we actually risk falling into the same trap of the other side where, to me, I don’t want it to be a capitalist’s job or Facebook’s job to manage female body image insecurity issues. That’s the role of the family or religion…. That is the role of institutions that exist outside of the capitalists’ sphere of our lives.”

Put in other words, whose fault is it that young people are being exploited by social media? The easy cop-out is to say it’s Big Tech’s fault. But Big Tech would be powerless if parents did not hand over their kids in the first place.

I applaud the bipartisan effort to protect minors from the corrupting influence of social media. Nevertheless, we must remember it is not ultimately the government’s responsibility. We the People have surrendered our kids to unchecked access to Big Tech poison. It is up to us to undo the damage.

Jakob Fay is a staff writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance.