Social Media Lessons Needed in Schools to De-Stress the Kids

By Gary Cutlack on at

The children's commissioner for England thinks the government should make schools do more to explain the complicated modern world of social media to children, and has also warned that transitioning from primary to secondary school is when the minds of children are the most warped from the pressure to curate their lives into likeable digital parcels.

The full report [PDF] on what to do about children only being on Snapchat all the time says the "digital literacy education" offered at the moment should be widened to go beyond today's simple safety messages, with the idea that both "critical awareness" the "understanding of algorithms" should be explicitly explained. As in, Facebook buried your funny video, Thomas, because you didn't pay for it to be prominently displayed. It's not necessarily that people hate you.

Although social media is all about fun and games and family for primary age kids, this turns into a mass of pressure in later years when their accounts are rumbled by their secondary school peers. Children's commissioner Anne Longfield told the BBC: "It's really when they hit secondary school that all of these things come together. They find themselves chasing likes, chasing validation, being very anxious about their appearance online and offline and feeling that they can't disconnect -- because that will be seen as socially damaging."

Then things get even worse when their friends find their dad's Twitter account. [BBC]