Best Practice

Trapped in social media: Beating the algorithms

There is a real fear about the negative impact that social media is having on a generation of young people. Edwina Dunn looks at recent research and one simple yet effective solution

Scare stories about the impact of social media on young people are widespread in the news. Almost every week there are headlines linking social media to depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders and bullying.

The fear is real – teachers and parents frequently tell me how they worry about the stress social media puts on teens, especially girls.

Girls themselves have expressed concern about how the digital world might be affecting their wellbeing. In a poll by Girlguiding (Marsh, 2017), 35 per cent of girls aged 11 to 21 said their biggest concern online was comparing themselves to others, and 45 per cent felt pressure to check their phones as soon as they wake up and before they go to sleep.

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