Youth Backlash against Social Media

Youth Backlash against Social Media

Hi everyone! It is Laura here, Apprentice Research Assistant at CASCAID, and I have some interesting reports on how young people are rebelling against social media.

The TES, The Guardian and The Independent have all reported how young people, mainly year 11’s and Post – 16’s, are deciding to remove themselves from social media.

Surprisingly, recent polls have shown that almost two thirds of pupils would not mind if social media didn’t exist!

Pupils are actually going back in time and are starting to use ‘brick phones’ which cannot access social media. Three quarters of students have also gone as far as having “social detoxes” to remove themselves from social media for a period of time.

A poll of around 5,000 students by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses Conference have shown some worrying findings:

  • 28% have received abusive comments online from strangers
  • 28% have received abuse from people they know
  • 56% have admitted to nearly be on the edge of addiction
  • 52% of students have felt less confident about themselves due to social media

Apps such as Sarahah – an anonymous messaging service where anyone can send messages without knowing who they are from, has made its way into young people’s phones. This app was originally produced for employers to get anonymous feedback from their employees. It is now trending in schools.

How are pupils facing this?

Some pupils have now got brick phones – so they cannot access social media.

Nokia sales have risen, as more and more pupils are grabbing the new Nokia 3310 which was released May this year. It is a simpler phone from the traditional Apple/Android/Microsoft phones. The 3310 costs just £41 and has a FM radio, headphone jack and a 30-day battery life which is a lot better battery life than the phones on the current market!

Schools have seen a change in their pupils and they have seen an improvement; they sleep a lot better which means they are concentrating more and this means they feel and learn better. This is especially important for students who are facing exams such as GCSE’s and A Levels.

Is social media all bad?

Even though social media gets a lot of attention and bad labels – there are some good parts!

The feedback from the poll also had some good points and improvements that pupils would like to see. These include:

  • Students enjoy seeing memes (an image or text that is funny and can easily go viral via the internet), Snapchat lenses/filters and Stories.
  • 71% of students want less advertising shown on news feeds
  • 61% want less fake news – which can influence a lot of young people who cannot distinguish between fake and real news
  • 55% want more creative content
  • 49% would like to have more privacy
  • A third of students would also like to have the opportunity to have an income through social media

Social media can also bring people together through common interests and allow people to be creative with their work.

I left college this year and I feel that these points are true and how it affects other students emotional wellbeing. The amount of education on how to be safe online in schools is crucial and I wish I had it when I was younger!

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