Meghan Markle has candidly admitted that she is ‘frightened’ about the prospect of her children, Archie and Lilibet, one day using social media – while issuing a warning about the dangers of the online world for today’s youth.
The 42-year-old Duchess of Sussex – who once boasted more than 11 million followers on her and Harry’s now-defunct Instagram account – laid bare her ‘worries’ about her four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter while appearing at a World Mental Health Day panel event in New York City on Tuesday alongside her husband Prince Harry.
After hearing the stories of several parents who have suffered ‘tragic loss connected to their child’s social media use’, Harry and Meghan took to the stage to open up about their own experiences with social media – and their own fears for its future as parents to two young children.
‘I think by design, there was an entry point that was supposed to be positive in creating community and something has devolved, and there’s no way to hear that and not try to help these families have their stories be heard.’
Meghan Markle has candidly admitted that she is ‘frightened’ about the prospect of her children, Archie and Lilibet, one day using social media
The 42-year-old mother-of-two said she ‘worries’ about the impact social media will have on her four-year-old son Archie and two-year-old daughter Lilibet when they start to use it
Meghan went on to admit that, while her children are still not yet at an age where they are using – or are even aware of – social media, she knows that the time is fast approaching when they will be exposed to it in some way.
She described her role as a mother as the ‘most important thing in her life outside of being a wife’ to Prince Harry, saying: ‘Being a mom is the most important thing in my entire life… outside of course being a wife to this one.
‘But I will say, I feel fortunate that our children are at an age, again, quite young, so this isn’t in our immediate future, but I also feel frightened by how it’s continuing to change.
‘And this will be in front of us. As they say, “Being a parent, the days are long but the years are short.” So it worries me, but I’m also given a lot of hope and a lot of energy by the progress we’ve made in the last year.’
Meghan no longer has an active public social media account, however before she began dating Prince Harry, she was a prolific Instagram user, sharing regular updates about her life and her time working on TV show Suits with her two million followers.
That account was deleted soon after her engagement to Prince Harry was announced and she has not established another public personal Instagram since.
In March 2020, Meghan and Harry announced that they would be withdrawing from social media altogether, issuing a statement on their Sussex Royal Instagram account that they wanted to find a ‘new chapter to understand how they can best contribute’.
Speaking about the stories shared by the parents who participated in the panel, the Duchess of Sussex admitted that she was reduced to tears by the ‘devastating’ experiences that they have shared with her and Harry, who have been working with a group of mothers and fathers over the past year in their efforts to create a safer online space for young people.
‘A year ago when we met some of the families, not all of them, it was impossible to not be in tears as I’m sure so many of you have been today hearing these stories,’ she said.
‘You can hear these stories again and again and again, and it’s still going to have the same emotional impact because it’s just that devastating.’
Both Meghan and Harry, 39, have been outspoken about the dangers of social media in recent years – with the Duke of Sussex warning in 2020 that it was stoking a ‘crisis of hate’
The Duchess of Sussex said: ‘I feel fortunate that our children are… quite young, so [social media] isn’t in our immediate future, but I also feel frightened by how it’s continuing to change
Today’s event marks the latest time that Meghan and Harry have spoken out to issue warnings about the dangers of social media – with the Duke of Sussex penning an entire opinion piece in 2020 in which he warned that it is stoking a ‘crisis of hate’.
In the piece, which was written for business magazine Fast Company and was headlined ‘Social media is dividing us. Together, we can redesign it,’ Harry said that social media, as it stood, was ‘unwell’.
‘The digital landscape is unwell and companies like yours have the chance to reconsider your role in funding and supporting online platforms that have contributed to, stoked, and created the conditions for a crisis of hate, a crisis of health, and a crisis of truth,’ he wrote.
He called for online communities to be ‘defined more by compassion than hate; by truth instead of misinformation; by equity and inclusiveness instead of injustice and fearmongering; by free, rather than weaponized, speech.’
Back in 2019, he also suggested that social media is ‘more addictive than drugs and alcohol’ while taking part in a roundtable discussion on young people’s mental health at a YMCA in London.
‘Social media is more addictive than drugs and alcohol,’ he said during the event.
‘Yes it is more dangerous because it is normalized and there are no restrictions. So we are in a really mind-altering time.
‘But we are in an exciting time because everybody in this room has an opportunity to actually make a real difference so that young people coming through are less connected to their phones.
‘They can be as connected as they want to be but they have to have a human connection as well. Without that human connection when you do have a problem you have nowhere to go and the only place you might go is online and you [are] probably getting bullied.
‘Every single one of us has mental health. There is good mental health and there is bad mental health and just because you suffer or might not suffer from mental illness, your bad mental health is affecting everyone around you.
‘The younger generation feel so much more positive about this. There is no point in saying ”I’m fine, I feel fine”. Everyone in this room is susceptible to mental illness.’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-12616461/Meghan-Markle-Prince-Harry-Archie-Lilibet-social-media.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Meghan Markle admits that she is ‘FRIGHTENED’ about Archie and Lilibet using social media – as she gushes that ‘being a mom is the most important thing in her life… outside of being a wife’ to Prince Harry