Lets get real here. If you’re reading this, you have your phone or tablet in your hand, or are on a laptop or desktop PC. Ask yourself, how long have you been looking at the screen? Are you still in bed? Have you eaten today or spoken to a real person yet?
Before you turn away, we are not here to nag or give lectures, because that’s not how we roll. We’re just here to ask you to think about it. We’re thinking about it too.
We know that social media is addictive, as research shows that the “hit” we get from ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ is similar to that which hard drug users experience. So there’s that. The rise in mental health issues amongst young people has risen significantly over the past few years, along with the rise in social media. That can’t be a coincidence surely?
When you go online, you put yourself in a room with a group of people. These people are friends, family, celebrities and strangers. Many of these people will get likes on their photos, but not a ‘hello’ if you were to pass them on the street.
Think about it. Ask yourself, how do the people you hang out with in this room make you feel?
Strong? Empowered? Inspired? Smart? Beautiful? Accomplished?
Anxious? Inferior? Ugly? Unimportant? Depressed? Not good enough? A failure?
Social media is not all bad, despite what your parents say, it allows you to interact with like minded people, stay in touch with your friends, learn just about anything, educate yourself about the world, travel without leaving your home. But surely there are important choices to be made. Who are you allowing into your ‘room’? Is Michelle Obama in there? Lena Dunham? Selena Gomez? Demi Lovato? JK Rowling? And in Ireland, how about Minnie Melange, Amy Huberman, Anna Cosgrave, Louise O’Neill?
Today we’re doing a Social Media clean up, to make sure that each person we follow provides us with inspiration, makes us feel good, and reflects a real and attainable world. Why not join us?
Steven Bartlett has some more thoughts on this….