Charles Barkley’s Explanation for Why He’s Not on Social Media Strikes a Nerve With Parents Who Don’t Accept Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Apology During Senate Social Media Hearing

Ever wonder why NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley does not have any personal presence on social media?

Talk host Gayle King nabbed the answer while she and the 1993 NBA MVP chatted about the hot topic of multiple social media CEOs coming to a hearing on Capitol Hill this week.

During a sit down on their new CNN show, “King Charles,” the former 76ers player shared the reason he does not have a profile on any social media platform. The former baller simply does not want any of the foolishness associated with social media coming into his personal life.

Gayle King hopes Charles Barkley can
Gayle King hopes Charles Barkley can “keep his mouth shut for a change,” ahead of their new show “King Charles” dropping on CNN. (Photo by @gayleking/ Instagram)

The analyst, who is now a sports media staple, told King in a video clip, “I don’t do social media myself, you know that.”

 “I do. You’re not on Twitter. You’re not on Instagram, anything,” Gayle responded before further asking, “Why?”

“Because I don’t want to bring fools into my life… the negativity,” Barkley replied.

The TNT talking head rhetorically asked, “Are there positives to it? I hear there’s positives to it, but I don’t want to bring anything negative into my life.”

After sharing that he would “love to meet” with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Barkley continued giving more depth as to why he is not interested in having accounts.

“You see all the time these kids are committing suicide because some that they’ve shown on one of these platforms. I think that … the parents deserve some responsibility, Congress deserves some responsibility and the companies deserve some responsibility,” Barkley said.

According to the National Library of Medicine, there is an uptick in death by suicide from adolescents who already struggle with being accepted or other mental health challenges.

“[The] greater time spent on online social networking leads to greater exposure to and engagement in self-harm behavior,” read a study on their site. “It also leads to an increase in psychological distress and suicidal ideation in depressed adolescents. NSSI and suicidal ideation in adolescents are a risk factor for mental health problems as well suicide attempts and completed suicides later in life.”

The research also agreed with Barkley’s point, stating, “Parents, caregivers, and teachers should be vigilant about the online activity of youth. The fact that online social networks are so commonly used by young people these days offers public health services and mental health professionals a medium to reach troubled youth and encourage them to seek professional help.”

The conversation arose after Zuckerberg apologized to families of children who died by suicide or experienced aspects of suicidality during a Senate hearing on Jan. 31

The Senate Judiciary Committee peppered the chief executives of five major tech corporations, including Zuckerberg, regarding the potential adverse effects of their products on teenagers.

“I’m sorry for everything you have all been through,” the creator of Facebook/Meta said. “No one should go through the things that your families have suffered and this is why we invest so much and we are going to continue doing industry wide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer.”

However social media users wanted more from the tech executive than just “I’m sorry.”

“So he wants Zuckerberg to take accountability for the actions others did while using his product. Would he demand apologies from gun manufacturers?” one person said.

“Mark Zuckerberg gives the least sincere apology I think I’ve ever heard. I’d imagine those poor families are thinking exactly the same thing,” another wrote. “How can a social media platform be facilitating pedophiles and allowing child pornography to be circulated.  Shame on you! Pure evil!”

“Zuckerberg called that an #apology?  He’s sorry that it happened? That isn’t an apology.  Do more.  Apologize for real,” one more tweeted.

The hearing is only one hot topic on the new show.  On this week’s episode the duo also talked about Taylor Swift and the Super Bowl and what is their favorite way to take a selfie.

“King Charles” is a new weekly series where King and Barkley engage “in freewheeling and authentic conversations centered around the week’s most interesting stories, moments and cultural themes,” according to the CNN website.

The show launched on Nov. 29.

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