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Doug Disch
Thursday, October 03, 2019

TEDX speaker and social media activist Collin Kartchner to share his message that has saved the lives of hundreds of kids across the country. 
Fond du Lac, WI -October 2019 -- What started out as a parody Instagram account has now sparked a grassroots movement for Collin Kartchner to share a powerful message with over 350,000 people so far - including Nike, Adidas, the American Academy of Pediatrics and universities across the country. His mission is to increase awareness of how social media is damaging our kids. Collin’s momentous speaking schedule is booked 14 months out and it will take him to over half the United States .as well as international stops! This testifies to the impact of his message. 
Collin and his wife Liz are the Co-founders of the Save the Kids Foundation, with a message to challenge social media’s influence on teen mental health. The message empowers youth to make changes to their relationship with screens and social media. It encourages them to instead share more authenticity and eliminate accounts and follows that don’t make them happy. 
“Our kids are in a public health crisis. Too many teens suffer silently from anxiety and depression stemming from 24/7 access to peer culture, social media comparison, and loss of real connection. If we can help unhook them from their phone addiction to live in real life, happiness and real meaning return. 
This message to kids and parents is saving their lives. Everyday, he receives many messages with a story similar to this teen girl: “ My mom dragged me into the car to make me go to your speech. When I heard all the things you talked about, it helped me realize a lot of things. Social media has had a huge negative impact on my life. Thank you for everything you said, and for saving my life.”
 “It’s never too late. If we decide we can use social media for good, we can impact the world,” Kartchner emphasized. “I receive hundreds of messages every day from teens, telling me of the negative impact social media has on their mental health. When you tell them that they can break free from the toxic perfectionism, they clap; they cheer; they cry; they hug me … because they are exhausted from trying to be perfect.” 
Learning about social media and the impact it has on mental health isn't just for teens. Parents need to be aware of this epidemic, too. “If parents really knew what was going on with kids and their phones, what they see, what they have access to, and what people can say to them, they would be shocked!” 
Collin will be speaking at Goodrich Little Theater in Fond du Lac on Wednesday, October 9th from 6:30pm-8:30pm. The presentation is FREE and for everyone. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids. This event is sponsored by the Fond du Lac School District and Agnesian HealthCare, a member of SSM Health.