Everything You Need to Know About Osprey, Erin and Ben Napier's Nonprofit

It's all about creating social media-free communities that allow kids to be kids.

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Erin and Ben Napier are stuck in the past — in a good way! They have a passion for revitalizing America’s original cities; they're drawn to all things vintage; and they prioritize family over everything else. Now the Home Town hosts are on a mission to ensure a wholesome, low-tech lifestyle is normalized across the country with their new nonprofit foundation, Osprey.

What is Osprey?

Launched in August 2023, Osprey’s goal is to keep kids off of social media until they graduate from high school. Erin and Ben came up with the idea for the organization — which promotes parents creating “nests” of kids in their communities who don’t use social media — after seeing their friends' kids bullied for not being allowed to use social media.

“Research tells us social media is as addictive and destructive for developing brains as any drug,” Erin wrote on Instagram. “This made me think: My kindergartener doesn’t expect to drive a car before she’s old enough. She doesn’t expect to own a house of her own before she’s old enough. If we build a culture in our home and school now where she doesn’t expect access to the entire world in her pocket until she’s much older, we can set her up for success.”

The Napiers' Own Childhoods Inspired Them

Ben and Erin have fond memories of their iPhone-free childhoods. In fact, it became a regular topic of conversation among their friends and fellow parents — including Erin’s longtime friend Dr. Catherine Sledge and her husband, Taylor, who are co-founders of the Osprey.

“We were the last generation to experience a fully engaged low-tech childhood, even as we had access to home computers and cell phones as teenagers. We have a unique perspective to see what our children stand to miss out on, and what they stand to gain by delaying social media use. When we’re not mature enough, social media dulls our humanity,” the Osprey founders wrote on their website.

Making Sure Kids Get to Be Kids

At the heart of their mission, Ben and Erin just want to make sure kids across America still get the chance to enjoy their childhoods. Erin often posts her own children making artwork, playing outside, gardening and spending time with family, and she wants to ensure tech-free activities like these remain normal and fun for other kids.

“We wanted Osprey to feel set apart in a way that feels like summer camp, not set apart in a way that feels like you’re the weird one or you’re the only one that doesn’t have it,” Erin said during the nonprofit’s launch at the University of Mississippi. “What if we build huge communities of kids who don’t have it and it becomes summer camp. They are set apart in a way that is back to the basics of learning and engaging and you’re building campfires, you’re going fishing, you’re learning archery, you’re sleeping in a cabin without air conditioning.”

How to Join Osprey

With the intention of spreading their message to every corner of the country, Ben and Erin made it easy for parents to create their own social media-free communities or “nests." Sign up on the Osprey website, and you'll receive a packet with information about why social media can be damaging to children’s development and how you can get other parents in your neighborhood or school on board.

“Forming a circle of families and friends who are in this together when your kids are little, linking arms and doing what it takes to give your kids the gift of a social-media free adolescence is the only way we change the culture,” said Erin on Instagram.

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