Protect against Title IX and submit a comment by September 12, 2022.

The US Department of Education released their proposed changes to Title IX regulations that would dramatically change the future for women and girls in federally funded activities and programs. There are many negative impacts that will harm girls, women, and families.

A government portal has been set up for you to make a comment submission.  It is very straight-forward and easy to do.  In addition, this governmental body is required to read every submission, large and small – before they can finalize the new “Rule.”  So rest assured, your input will be read and considered.


May 27, 2024

By Rebecca Heiner

Part 1 of 2

Social media and I have a love/hate relationship. There are some things I love about it, and more things I hate. But one thing is certain…it has become a significant part of our daily lives and culture.  The pull of influence it has on everyone and everything it touches is evident in the way we live our lives. This influence has woven its way into every fiber of our society and shaped the way we view the world around us. 

Parents raising children in this digital era are essentially “pioneers” of parenting. Never have we experienced a time so full of accessible information and opportunity. The addition of the internet and advancements in technology have created some unique parenting challenges unlike anything experienced in the past. Parents today are blazing trails through unknown territory and competing with endless distractions demanding their children’s attention.

For the past 22 years my husband and I have been primarily devoted to and focused on raising our three daughters. Like most parents dedicated to raising a family, we have always tried to be a constant and stable influence in their lives by teaching and guiding with love and support. As children of the 80’s and 90’s, we had a very different childhood than our girls. This is particularly true when it comes to who and what influenced us.  

Unlike our girls, we didn’t have social media or smart phones. We had a lot of face-to-face contact with people. And much of what influenced us in our youth came from the people (parents, teachers, mentors, friends, family members) in our everyday lives. Of course, media (music, TV, movies, books) had influence as well, but the reach was still somewhat limited. The internet changed that in a big way, and today children are growing up highly influenced by the people they see online, and less by the people in their daily lives.

Who Is Influencing Our Kids?

Social media is saturated with people referred to as “Influencers.” These are individuals who gain substantial amounts of followers by creating interesting content people will want to watch. They are more or less “online celebrities” who often focus on a specific niche, such as beauty, fashion, fitness, etc. Influencers do exactly what their title implies…they influence.

While sharing content can be beneficial and entertaining, we need to recognize that influencers have the power to impact our thoughts and actions. Opinions, behaviors, and decisions can all be affected by the persuasion of influencers. And since social media is a place kids spend a good amount of time, it’s crucial for parents know just who is influencing their kids. 

Vulnerable to Persuasion

No one is immune to the persuasive power of social media. In fact, just last week I found myself buying a household product I saw on a social media site. But kids and teens are particularly susceptible to the opinions of influencers because their brains are still developing. Without the full capacity of logic and reasoning needed to filter through information kids are incredibly vulnerable to persuasion.  

Kids, particularly teenagers, are often preoccupied with finding where they fit in and belong. A 2023 study about the effects of social media influencers on teenager’s behavior found that influencer content had a significant effect on their developing sense of identity. Since adolescence is a time of transitioning, there is an instinctive need to develop a sense of self. They often look to role models, like influencers, to mimic. This is why it’s imperative to know who is getting their attention and approval. 

Shaping Beliefs

Social media can lead us to any path we could ever imagine. Content is vast and even with filters and protective measures, our children can find themselves subscribing to ideals and agendas that are harmful. Even seemingly “mild” content can contain opinions and beliefs that are contrary to what parents may be striving to teach their children. 

It’s important to have open conversations about the influencers our children follow on social media. As parents, we should share our own experiences online, and teach them how to avoid manipulation. Parents who take the time to really listen, show empathy, and offer loving counsel can impact how their children view online content.

Parental Influence

Children who feel heard and valued are more inclined to listen to parental guidance and prioritize their teachings above others. Modeling healthy social media usage for our children will help them navigate their way through the pull of media influence. The unique challenges of parenting in the digital era will continue, but remember this:  influencers will come and go, but the example and support of loving parents can influence a child indefinitely. 

Look closely for next week, where I will continue the discussion of social media influencers and the depths to which they can have an impact on your child!

Rebecca is a Senior at BYU-Idaho and will soon be graduating with a B.S in Marriage and Family Studies. She lives in Riverton, Utah with her husband, and for the past 22 years they have been raising and loving their three daughters. She enjoys reading, writing, and relaxing in the backyard on summer nights. Rebecca is passionate about the importance of families and hopes to continue her journey advocating for strong and healthy family relationships.