Internet Governance Forum Live Twitter Chat Recap: “Technology, Suicide, and the Mental Health of Youth”

November 16, 2018

On November 13, After School hosted a live Twitter chat on the topic of Technology, Suicide, and the Mental Health of Youth. The chat was held while After School’s Jeff Collins spoke at the Internet Governance Forum in Paris with internet safety experts and leaders from ConnectSafely, Tumblr, Facebook, and others.

Featured chat participants included social media companies and nonprofit organizations along with hundreds of Twitter users. The six questions asked were:

#IGFLiveChat Takeaways

During the one-hour chat, we learned several interesting things from participants. Two of the questions were in the form of a poll, and we received hundreds of responses to both.

Technology Can Aid in Preventing Teen Suicide According to Poll Takers

With over 950 responses, the majority of participants believe that technology can aid in preventing suicide. Only 11% felt that it can not aid in preventing youth suicide, and 17% stated that they “don’t know.”

Public Perception of Technology and Social Media’s Impact

The final question of the day asked participants if they believed that social media and technology provides more benefits to youth than risks of damage to their mental health. 51% of the 494 total votes answered “No” — an indication that many who pay attention to these issues believe technology companies can and should be doing more to understand and help minimize any potential harm technology may cause to mental health.

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