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Collin Kartchner: How social media is destroying kids

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SALT LAKE CITY — (KUTV) — Collin Kartchner recently lit a firestorm on social media and then completely withdrew from Instagram. That topic: How social media is destroying our kids.

Collin sat down with Kari, Brooke, and Caitlin to bring awareness to the problem and find out what's next for Kartchner.

Watch our segment with Collin above to learn more. You may also spot some new billboards along Interstate 15 that say things like "You are Loved," a direct result of Collin raising money to make a positive change. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please visit hope4utah.com/hope-squad.

COLLIN KARTCHNER IS SAVING THE KIDS

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This is a website. Here are some words.

In 2017, Collin started a popular parody Instagram account simply to make fun of social media and the culture of toxic perfectionism it has created. Instead of using his platform and large following to earn paid sponsor posts or fat stacks, he used his account to do good. 

When Hurrican Harvey hit Texas, Collin used social media to crowd-funded over $125,000 for Hurricane victims which he and his wife Liz then personally delivered to many families in Texas. Soon after when Hurricane Maria hit, he helped a group raise $350,000 for people in Puerto Rico. He then raised over $30,000 for three Utah children fighting cancer and threw the largest social-media created Christmas party for the kids. In February 2018, he raised over $15,000 in less than 12 hours to put "You are Loved" and "You are Beautiful" billboards across Utah which were seen 1.18M times. 

In April 2018, Collin started a campaign to #SavetheKids from social media and screen addictions negative affect on their mental and emotional health. His message has resonated with the masses, as he has since spoke to 100,000+ youth and adults across the country, and was even invited to speak at TEDxSaltLakeCity in 2018, as well as for companies like Nike and Adidas. He has been interviewed for TV and newspapers on this topic many times, including Fox13, KUTV-2, KSL News, Fresh Living as well as articles in Salt Lake Tribune and authored articles for Deseret News. 

Collin is on a crusade to help educate parents on the damage social media and 24/7 access to peer culture will have on their child's mental health. His goal is to help teens rise above social media comparison, negativity, cyber bullying, and the stress of being perfect. Every day Collin gets 100's of message from teens sharing how social media is hurting their mental health, and how his message changed or even saved their lives.  

His #SavetheKids Parent Awareness Nights have been a huge success, empowering parents to stop fighting their teen's phone use and start fighting FOR their teen. These events are usually standing room only.  

For more information on how to bring Collin to your school, company, community, or conference fill out the contact form to the right or visit www.SavetheKids.us

#SavetheKids ​

YOUTH ADVOCATE

SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVIST

CROWD

FUNDER

TEDX SPEAKER

DAD​

COLLIN

KARTCHNER

IS SAVING THE KIDS

CyberSafe: The mental health effect phones have on teens could be deadly

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CANYON CITY, Colo. - Recent medical studies have said cell phones and digital devices can be addictive especially with children. When you factor in social media, you have a potential crisis.

That's why one Colorado school is being proactive in trying to curb the activity.

Canyon City Middle School invited Collin Kartchner of Utah to speak at their school on Wednesday. He's been traveling the nation for the last 10 months trying to save kids from social media.  

You could say, he's fighting Instagram with Instagram. His movement, #savethekids started after his friend's daughter took her life. The teen's mother said social media was to blame.  

"When I asked other people on social media if they knew of anyone else experiencing problems like this from social media, I was overwhelmed with dozens or hundreds of messages," Kartchner said. 

Since then, he's been giving two to five presentations a day across the United States. He targets middle school children, those likely to have a phone. He spoke three times in Canyon City.

"When I leave these presentations, I get messages from the kids telling me, 'I've never told anyone about this, I've been struggling for years. I've attempted on my life three times or I was suicidal,'" explained Kartchner.

Social media and smartphones can be used for so much good, but sadly they are tearing at the fabric of our society and our homes. He's trying to change that, one Instagram follower at a time. 

"I started to digging into the numbers, I saw since 2010, it's causing a lot of issues that lead to suicide" Kartchner said. "Doctors and experts have told me depression in younger people is on the rise and social media shares the blame."

Kartchner says he's not just educating students, but their parents too.

"Our kids are in crisis," he said. "If you could imagine being 13 again the also having Instagram and Snapchat, it's panic-inducing for a parent to even think about that."

Wait Until 8th

Wait Until 8th@WaitUntil8th·Aug 26We love this 'Idea in Action' from San Mateo High School!   "At the beginning of the school year, students at San Mateo High School each received a Yondr pouch...The phones stay with the owner, in the locked pouch."  > abc7ne.ws/2ZnQU81 <San Mateo High School setting trends with phone-free policy, fielding calls from across the countryGETTING THE NATION'S ATTENTION: San Mateo High School's new phone-free policy is a hit with a few other high schools across the country.abc7news.com

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Utah internet activist Collin Kartchner to talk to parents about their kids' social media habits on

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Self-described “social media activist” Collin Kartchner will host a series of talks Monday in Idaho Falls, helping teenagers and their parents handle concerns about their online lives.

Thunder Ridge High School student Sydnee Spiers organized the events for her senior project. Spiers regularly uses Snapchat and Instagram and said that while there were plenty of upsides to both sites, she had started noticing more potentially hostile comments and unhealthy anxieties among her friends because of the pictures they constantly see.

“You look and wish that you were living that way and you had all these other things with your lifestyle or your relationships. It’s just a lot of comparing photos and your self-esteem gets lower and lower,” she said.

As the number of social media sites grows and their user base grows, so have the worries about online harassment and mental health. A study from the Pew Research Center found that nearly 60 percent of teenagers had experienced online bullying or harassment. When it comes to getting help with those issues, the students believe their parents have done more to address the issue than any other group, including the tech companies behind the apps.

Spiers’ mother Erika followed Kartchner on Instagram and suggested that his message of social media positivity could be a good avenue for her project. A Utah native, Kartchner has spent the last two years campaigning about the dangers of social media while demonstrating their potential to do good. He crowd-founded more than $400,000 for the victims of hurricanes Harvey and Maria, set up motivational billboards along Interstate 15 in February and tours the country speaking to students.

“I see responses from kids that were at those schools and they talk about how impactful it was in their lives,” Spiers said.

Spiers reached out to Kartchner in October and raised the money for him to give free presentations to students and parents as part of his #SavetheKids campaign. He will spend most of Monday hosting four assemblies for students at the middle and high schools in Bonneville Joint School District 93. After the assemblies, Spiers and other students will be handing out rubber rings that say “Look Up” — a reminder to focus more on the things happening around them than the posts on their phones.

That evening, Kartchner will lead “Save the Kids & Save the Parents,” a free event to answer parents’ questions about the potential risks their children face online, at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center for the Performing Arts. Joining him for the discussion will be a panel including author and Arizona State University adjunct faculty member Katey McPherson, as well as a local counselor and police captain who will offer tips and resources specific to Idaho Falls.

Kartchner then will travel to Rexburg to host similar talks at Madison High School on Tuesday, speaking to students at 6 p.m. and parents at 7 p.m.

INTERVIEW: Thunder Ridge student brings social media activist to east Idaho

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Thousands of east Idahoans filled auditoriums this week as a local teen’s senior project aimed to educate parents and teens about the dangers of social media.

Sydnee Speirs, a senior at Thunder Ridge High School, teamed up with self-proclaimed social media activist Collin Kartchner to help parents and students become aware about the impact social media is having on young minds across the world.

“I’ve noticed it in my own life, and I know that it’s not only me, and I know that there’s lot out there too,” Speirs said. “Especially as I was reading things that Collin was posting of assemblies that he was going to and the schools that he was at with these kids responding to him…and I was like, ‘Okay, if they feel that way, I know I feel that way and that there’s so many others that would too.’ So, that’s when we were just like, you know what? This would be such an amazing project to do.”

Kartchner, who originally started as an Instagram personality known for mocking blogs and social media habits, said he’s seen the negative impact social media is having on teens and children. East Idaho parents and students heard that personal message from Kartchner himself at several assemblies and events throughout the region.

“One of the biggest problems we’re facing is that our young people are a lot of them are in the huge, deep emotional pain right now and in crisis,” Kartchner said. “Where I live…in Salt Lake and Utah…since 2011 when all this stuff came out, in seven years, our youth suicide rate has jumped 141 percent. We had a school just last year, one high school, we lost seven kids to suicide.”

Stories and Highlights posted by collinkartchner

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 It’s time. I’m teaming up with The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, @protectyoungeyes, state and local leaders to push accurate ratings for Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and other social media apps covered in pornography/adult content your kid can access in 2 clicks—they say these apps are “rated for 12+” because there’s no independent app rating group like we have with video games and movies. Imagine sending your kid to a PG-13 movie and 2 mins into it they’re watching a porno. Enough. Let kids be kids. Watch the story I did with KSL yesterday link in bio. Also- heading to Orange City, Iowa to speak tonight and tomorrow. Swipe left for fliers! Thank you @amberleusink for making it happen for the OC communit 

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