Why young people should put their phones down and get off social media, by Dawn Carey, leader of one of Britain’s fastest growing mental health charities

We have recently seen the launch of a campaign to get people to come off of social media for a day, 

You Tuber Zoe Sugg working with lush and #IAMWHOLE launched the campaign to raise awareness of the negative impact social media can have on our mental health.

We think this is a great first step – but getting rid of them all together would make young people far more happier.

As Operations Manager of In Charley’s Memory, I hear daily the impacts that social media is having on our young people. 

From bullying, body dysmorphia, low self-esteem, to name a few, are regularly spoken about in the counselling rooms.

We are now in the midst of a mental health catastrophe. Crisis is not strong enough word. Social media is one of the main causes.

Social Media is full of anonymous people firing off hate messages, anger-fuelled rants, or starting arguments. This does young brains a great deal of harm.

“We will be a far healthier, happier society with our young people being helped to put their phones down.”

Dawn Carey

Social media apps and other modern gadgets have been deliberately made to be addictive. There is an addictive dopamine hit to the brain with every notification, every check of a text message or other communication.

This is so blatantly wrong.

It is time for community, society, national and world leaders everywhere to make a stand and help our young people. 

Resilience Tanks

Getting off this addiction train at the next stop is the best option for young people. Their brains are developing so fast. They are finding their place in an uncertain world. Their ’resilience tanks’ are being drained fast by the ping ping ping of messages, information and notifications on their phones.

They may not want to ditch social media for various reasons. Fear of missing out. Loneliness. But what if they did?

Would they talk to people face to face? Would they feel happier?

Would there be less mental health issues?

The honest answer is, yes, yes, yes.

It is time for young people to act. And our national and world leaders to help them. 

We will be a far healthier, happier society with our young people being helped to put their phones down.

(In Charley’s Memory is one of the fastest growing mental health charities in Britain. It helps the mental wellbeing of hundreds of 11 to 25 year olds in Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge, Weston-super-Mare, Bridgwater and across Somerset. It was set up after Burnham teenager Charley Marks, took his own life aged 18 in September 2014. The charity now supports and helps hundreds of young people affected by mental health every year.)