Social Media Backlash

Social Media Photo credit: Sean MacEntee

By Gwen Goodridge

In a survey commissioned by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, it has been found that two thirds of schoolchildren would not mind if social media had never been invented. 5,000 students from schools across England shared experiences online. 57% of students received abusive comments online whilst 56% admitted to being on the edge of addiction.

It’s fair to suggest the views of these students reflect how many of us feel in our modern society. Social media allows us to be updated, to communicate and to share within minutes. Nevertheless, it’s also accompanied by several negative factors, such as online abuse and fake news and it places considerable strain on our mental health.

From constant updates on political change and terrorist attacks to snapchat stories of friends partying while you sit in your pyjamas, social media makes the far removed seem even closer to home. 52% admitted that social media made them feel less confident about their image or how interesting their life is, whilst 60% believed friends seemed ‘fake’ online.

Alongside campaigns such as Heads Together, this research highlights how we are finally discussing our wellbeing. With 71% admitting they had taken temporary digital detoxes, we should be encouraged to put our devices down and focus on us for a change.