Impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health Contents

Annex 1: Outreach event, Reading

1)On 16 May 2018, an outreach event was held at South Street Arts Centre, Reading, to talk with youth leaders, parents and teachers about their views on social media. The following Members were present:

2)The event involved:

3)The following points were raised:

i)Bullying through social media was identified as the biggest worry among participants.

ii)Some schools struggle to implement strategies for how to deal with social media bullying, particularly as certain apps (such as Snapchat) delete messages once the recipient reads/watches it, thereby erasing the ‘proof’.

iii)Parents stated that the social media companies should work to prevent bullying.

iv)If you are being bullied or pressured by peers at school, participants highlighted that the “constant” nature of social media and apps enables the bullying to continue once the child has left the school.

v)Body image also featured in the discussions. It was noted that problems arise not just from direct bullying, but also from the high standards set by peers posting ‘highlights’ of their lives on social media, which adds to the pressure felt by young people.

vi)Several participants argued that children need to be taught how to be “social media safe” and how to treat others on social media apps.

vii)On the issue of banning phones in schools, participants explained that children find ways of using them and the process of concealing the phones can cause more disruptions for the individual students and the class.

Published: 31 January 2019