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Erin and Ben Napier launch nonprofit to help parents keep kids off social media: 'Addictive and destructive'

The HGTV stars' new project, Osprey, aims to help parents who want their kids to have a childhood without social media.
/ Source: TODAY

Erin and Ben Napier have made their stance on social media clear: They want to keep their two daughters, Helen, 5, and Mae, 2, off of social media through high school.

Now, the HGTV couple is trying to help other parents do the same by creating a supportive community through their newly hatched nonprofit, Osprey.

"Research tells us social media is as addictive and destructive for developing brains as any drug," Erin Napier wrote in the caption of a video posted on Instagram introducing Osprey, a platform that aims to help people create communities that support a social media-free upbringing for children.

"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," Erin wrote. "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."

Along with her husband, Erin Napier teamed up with her longtime friend Catherine Sledge and her husband, Taylor, to bring this concept to life.

"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," Erin Napier wrote in the caption, going on to reveal that 20,000 parents signed up for the Osprey newsletter after she first teased the concept on May 4.

"We have a vision and a plan to give our kids support that starts now and takes them through high school graduation," the HGTV star continued. "Let’s make old school the new way."

Erin Napier spoke with in May, prior to the official launch, and said one of the biggest challenges of keeping kids off of social media, for parents, is worrying about insecurities and bullying.

"We want to make sure our kids don't feel left out when we don't let them have social media, as kids through high school," Erin tells "How do you do that? I think community is where you begin."

The "Home Town" star shared a story about a friend's eighth-grade daughter, who is the only one in her friend group who doesn't have a phone. During a sleepover, Erin said, her friend told all the girls to put their phones away — resulting in her friends not wanting to come over anymore.

Erin said that building a community where no one kid is alone is a powerful solution.

Ben and Erin Napier
Erin and Ben Napier have teamed up with friends Catherine and Taylor Sledge to create Osprey. Nathan Congleton / TODAY

"'Everybody else is doing it; We didn't want to give them social media; We didn't want to give them a phone, but everybody else it doing it' ... What if there is a way to create communities, small communities within schools, that hopefully become big communities within schools, where families say, 'We're not going to (use social media)'?" Erin tells

"Then (the families) support each other, they kind of make a pledge together when their kids are in about fifth grade, and then they see it through and support each other, share resources," Erin continues.

Interested participants can sign up for free on Osprey’s website, which then prompts an intro email welcoming the user and inviting them to download the Osprey guidebook, which includes “information about adolescent brain development,” “the steps to building your nest,” and “a pledge to sign.”

In addition to receiving emails, subscribers can check Osprey's website for inspirational stories related to the downsides of kids being on social media, and upsides to keeping them off of it.

Osprey will also be having their first in-person panel on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the University of Mississippi.