Over half of children feel less confident because of social media posts, survey says
10th October 2017 16:24 - Health
Over half of children feel less confident because of social media posts, survey says: A survey commissioned by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) asked 5,000 students in schools across England about their opinions on social media.
Last year, the number of active social media users increased by 21 percent compared to 2015, with many now accessing social media from a variety of handheld devices.
Despite using the internet to access the news, emails and online shopping, 96% of young people are using the internet for social media (Twitter/Facebook), however, the impact of their wellbeing is becoming a growing concern.
Last year, the Education Policy Institute published a report titled ‘State of the Nation’ which found that one in ten 5-16 year olds (720,000) experience a mental health problem in England. However, nearly a quarter (23%) of children are being turned away from mental health treatment.
According to Digital Awareness UK’s survey, 71 percent of respondents admitted to have taken a digital detox from social media.
Additionally, the survey also revealed the effects social media has had on pupils.
Out of 5,000:
· 57% said they have received abusive comments online;
· 56% said they were on the brink of becoming addicted to social media;
· 52% said they feel less confident about their looks and how interesting their life looks.
In 2015, the Office of National Statistics revealed there was a “clear association” between time spent on social media and mental wellbeing. Figures showed that those who spend more than three hours a day on the internet are three times more likely to suffer from mental health symptoms, as opposed to those that spend no time on social media.
Nonetheless, this generation (Generation Z) are aware of the implications of social media and the ways in which posts can portray an unrealistic image of a person, as 60% of respondents said they believe their friends post a fake version of themselves on social media. In fact, 63 per cent of children said they wouldn’t care if social media was no longer featured.
Commenting on the survey, Charlotte Robertson, Managing Director and Co-owner of Digital Awareness UK, said it was a “matter of concern to see the emotional impact social media is having on young people’s health and well-being.”
Yet, she said it is encouraging to see young people utilising“smart strategies such as digital detoxing.”
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