Collin Kartchner, Who Advocated Against Social Media for Kids, Has Died at Age 40
Collin Kartchner, a Utah-based satirical Instagrammer-turned-activist, died from unknown causes at age 40. His wife, Elizabeth Kartchner, confirmed his death in an emotional Instagram Story on Wednesday, as well as a post saying he “passed away unexpectedly due to natural causes in his beautiful body that we are unclear of yet.”
While Kartchner began his online career mocking the superficial tendencies of influencers on social media, he became an advocate for protecting children from social media in 2018 after acquaintance’s daughter who had been cyberbullied died from a drug overdose. His hashtag #SaveTheKids (unaffiliated with #SaveTheChildren) earned him over 246,000 Instagram followers and was the basis for his podcast, The Collin Kartchner Podcast, as well as speaking engagements, which he gave all over the country, encouraging children and parents to put down their phones and enjoy their lives screen-free.
Kartchner’s Instagram has been inundated with comments of love and grief from his followers, while Elizabeth has been fielding shocked inquiries from those who knew him.
“Yes it’s fucking true so stop texting me asking if it’s true,” she wrote on her Story. “No. I’m not fucking okay.”
Elizabeth denied that her husband’s death was the result of suicide, and said that while he passed unexpectedly, his family was with him at the time.
A GoFundMe has been created to support Elizabeth and their four children.
“Collin encouraged Liz to go back to school to get her Master's, and without a life insurance policy and their champion Collin, they are facing a lot of unknowns,” the description reads.
The fund has received $186,000 of its $200,000 goal in less than 24 hours.