Social media is killing / saving us [delete as applicable]

The perils of social media are never far from the front pages, and this Safer Internet Day is no exception, as the government announces plans to ban firms that don’t work harder to remove harmful content.

Of course, there’s more to it than regulation, but rather than add to the column inches, this ‘blog in quotes’ is a reminder of the best and worst of young people’s online lives – in their own words (from Hopes & Streams). Just be sure to scroll to the end!

The problem – it’s everywhere

Porn and violence

It isn’t always what we expect

Grown-ups don’t always get it

Reporting isn’t always effective

Mental health is taking a big hit

Self-harm is rife and even used for bullying

But there is so much that is good. For a start, often others DO help!

And they love things like this

Social media can bring together those who wouldn’t otherwise meet

Even gaming can be positive; even families can benefit from video chat

CONCLUSION

The internet is an amplifier of good and bad: the output can be amazing or horrendous, depending on the input. This Safer Internet Day, let’s remember the positive, but commit to tackling the negative with a mixture of government intervention, industry investment and self-improvement
(time, money and moderation), and lots of education (for young people and adults). Remembering of course that all of those will be so much more effective if based on the voice of the young person. “That makes me happy and great.”

To find out what we found out… read Hopes & Streams.

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