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Sep 23 2020


By

Jane McGarrigle


Subject

Online safety, critical thinking, Digital media literacy

Opinion

New campaign from Webwise encourages teens to see The Full Picture

This article reflects the authors own views and not that of MLI.

Webwise, the Irish internet safety awarness center have launched their annual campaign, this year the campaign takes a look at how teens use social media.

The Full Picture is a short film exploring how young people use social media to connect and share. Aims at young people and parents, the film highlights the influences and pressures young people face online and encourages them to see the full picture. Social media helps us share our lives but it does not tell the whole story. As many young people found themselves spending more time online in 2020, the campaign aims to raise awareness about the role of social media in young people’s lives and the importance of managing your online wellbeing.

Developed in conjunction with the Webwise Youth Advisory Panel (made up of 30 teenagers from across the country). The campaign celebrates the good social media can do (connecting, educating, sharing, creating, etc.) while also encouraging young people to be mindful of what influences them and how they respond to pressures online. Here is what they had to say about the topic!

"I think many people, including me, only post certain aspects of their life as it has become almost a culture to only show the best parts of life to others."

“We want to have a certain style or be a certain size and because most successful influencers have these ideals, we feel that to be ‘liked’ we need to live up these ideals and this can cause a lot of pressure, and in some cases a lot of stress.”

“Usually whenever I post online, I ask myself, “how will other people react to this” and “how would I react to seeing someone post this”. This helps me to get an idea of whether or not it’s appropriate to post and I’ll usually base my decision off this.”

“Every day on social media you see pictures and posts about people’s happy lives which I know isn’t all true but I find it does make you feel like you have to live up to their expectations and post happy things about your life like they do.”

“I have 100% felt pressured to live up to expectations online. Online influencers create an ideal life and picture of how life should be, leading many of us to believe we have to fulfil such expectations to be accepted and be successful.”

“I’ve realised social media is only a part of how we portray ourselves in life, it is not how we live our lives. Essentially it does not shape who we are. Our hobbies and interests help us define what makes us human.”

“We should portray what is gratifying online, what we are proud of, who we really are. Ask yourself, are you showing the full picture?”

Advice for young people

Social media is a great place to connect, share, learn and be creative. We’ve created some helpful advice articles to help young people make the most of their time online and manage their online wellbeing.

Advice for Parents

The best way parents can help their child make the most of their time online is by engaging in regular conversations. The Webwise Parents Hub offers free, expert advice on how to start those conversations, explainers on popular apps, advice on social media and image-sharing and how to guides.

Get started here: webwise.ie/parents/

Help and support

ISPCC Childline

Childline is a support service for young people up to the age of 18. Childline can be contacted by any child or young person by calling 1800 66 66 66, texting to 50101 or chatting online at Childline.ie 24 hours a day, every day: ispcc.ie/childline/

For more information on the campaign visit: webwise.ie/thefullpicture/

The Full Picture