The 2018 Social Media Safety in Schools event focused on how social media can better prevent teen suicide and improve mental health. An important and often overlooked part of this effort is the teenagers themselves. We will never know how to best help young people until we take time to listen to them carefully and involve them in creating solutions. We did that at SMSS, and learned a lot from the teen panel that included high school students Danny, Phillip, Emma, and Nadia.
- “I don’t think social media is causing self-harm or suicide. I think social media is amplifying things that are already there.” — Emma
- (On not using social media for a week) “You still have to go back and catch up on everything you missed out on, it’s like ignoring emails.” — Emma
- “There’s this fear of missing out when we’re not on social media. We want to see what’s going on with our friends; what’s going on in the world.” — Nadia
- “I think there are two parts to social media, one where you are posting stuff to the public and one where your using it to message friends. Generally, I use it to message friends more.” — Phillip
- “I wouldn’t post that much if I was feeling bad. You wouldn’t post that to everyone; it’s more of a personal thing.” — Phillip
- “Getting support from people that you need that you couldn’t haven’t gotten without that (social media)… it’s really nice.” — Danny
- “We post when we’re feeling good. We post good memories. So as a user of social media, just seeing people smiling, winning a sports game…what we don’t realize is it’s just a small sliver of that person.” — Nadia
- “We’re not going to post, ‘oh my god I have 12 hours of homework’… it’s not going to be that exciting for your followers to see.” — Nadia
- “What we see on social media is so filtered and such a small piece of the big picture. It makes it hard as a user if you’re not feeling so good.” — Nadia
- “Even when a teacher just asks you how you are doing, you kind of notice a bit more… I think we were talking about prevention and postvention. We don’t just have to react after.” – Phillip
Watch the highlights from the event below. For more information on this event and future Social Media Safety in Schools conferences, please email us at Press@AfterSchoolApp.com.