Almost two-thirds of schoolchildren would not mind if social media had never been invented, a survey has indicated.
The study provides evidence of a growing backlash among young people disillusioned with the negative aspects of the technology, such as online abuse and fake news.
As well as the 63% who would not care if it did not exist, even more pupils (71%) said they had taken temporary digital detoxes to escape social media.
The survey of about 5,000 students at independent and state schools in England was commissioned by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents the headteachers of independent schools around the world.
Many respondents indicated that social media was having a negative impact on their emotional wellbeing.
A total of 57% said they had received abusive comments online, 56% admitted to being on the edge of addiction and 52% said social media made them feel less confident about how they look or how interesting their life is.
While more than 60% believed friends showed a “fake version” of themselves on social media, 85% of pupils questioned denied they were guilty of that themselves.
The feedback was not all negative, with students identifying memes, filters/lenses and storytelling features, such as Snapchat Stories, among the things they like about social media.
Asked to recommend improvements, students urged less advertising (71%), less fake news (61%), more creative content (55%) and greater privacy (49%).
Read more : The Guardian