Recently, The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) launched their new campaign Scroll Free September, which is due to take place from the 1st to the 30th of September 2018. The Campaign is encouraging people, especially those between the ages of 18 and 34, to give up social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat in order to improve mental health and wellbeing in youths.
The campaign is set to be ‘the world’s first large-scale social media-free month‘ and is the result of RSPH’s #StatusOfMind report which was published in 2017. The study found that while social media can have both positive and negative affects, the overwhelming results were still negative, with many young adults claiming social media contributed to heightened anxiety, depression, insecurities about their appearance and fear of missing out, as well as leading to a poorer quality of sleep.
While a large amount of those surveyed claimed to believe quitting for a month would positively impact their sleep, relationship, productivity, body confidence and self esteem, as well as overall mental health and wellbeing, many said the change would be extremely difficult, in which one in ten claimed they would find it impossible. I know I would certainly struggle to completely log off, and that’s why the campaign highlights that even if you cannot go completely offline, any reduction of screen-time may be beneficial to ones health. Scroll Free September also states that any work-related usage is completely fine, and instant messaging apps like WhatsApp are okay.
Scroll Free September is sponsored by SilentNight and has been endorsed by NHS England’s national director for mental health, Clair Murdoch, who stated that:
Scroll Free is right to highlight growing concerns that social media is contributing to increasing mental health issues in young people and a major ramp up of services will be needed to deal with the problems as part of the NHS 10 year plan. We need to see concerted action, with everyone taking responsibility, including social media giants, so the NHS is not left to pick up the pieces of a mental health epidemic in the next generation.
If you want to read more or participate, go to www.scrollfreeseptember.org