Best face forward

Online overtakes TV

In recent times, it appears as though online activity is surpassing TV viewing (at least in the traditional sense on the tele-box). (1)

Social media is a huge deal in the lives of our young people. It’s something that many of us, as youth leaders haven’t had to deal with growing up (unless you’re a millennial). This means it’s a little hard to relate to and to understand to what extent social media shapes a young person.

The data

We searched for any UK data we could find on young people and their social media habits. We wanted to find out what sites and applications they are using, how they feel about it and how they act out in response to those feelings. We used data from Ofcom, Youthscape Centre for Research and the School Health Research Network (Wales only) to put together this infographic. It’s a summary of recent online activity, feelings and actions.

Social media and youth infographic

Best face forward, Youthsmarts

Social media influencers

One thing we know, is that they are on social media (well duh!). They are also spending time listening to online social media influencers. If only they paid the same attention to their youth leaders when delivering a ‘dynamic’ talk on the importance of honesty or friendship! Maybe we need to get ourselves into some of that influencer space.

Social media effect on young people

So, is there an impact of social media on youth and young people? We know that social media makes young people largely happy (1), although whether it’s always a healthy type of happiness is unclear.

There are also some pressures that come along with this happiness.

Young people are feeling the need to look popular and be at their best when online. Is it any wonder that they are spending time touching up their profiles and filtering out the things that they perceive as less-than-perfect? Perhaps the most powerful indication of this felt pressure for perfection is the noted graduation from animal filters to glamour filters. Are our young people becoming more self-conscious than ever before?

Now, more than ever, the message that they are fearfully and wonderfully made couldn’t be more relevant.

1: Ofcom;

Since you’re interested in social media, why not take a look at our data visualisation on screen time versus bedtime?

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