Over a third of young girls feel the pressure of living the ‘perfect’ life online is affecting their wellbeing, according to a new report.
The Girls’ Attitude Survey, conducted by Girlguiding, found that for girls as young as eleven, the greatest worry about spending time online was comparing their lives to others.
The survey also found that the older girls get, the more of an issue it becomes, with 40 per cent of girls aged 17 to 21 citing it as their second greatest worry, after being distracted from academic work.
A third of girls also said that they worry about how they look in photos, and a quarter say they worry that they feel the need to check their phones first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
With more and more young people holding a visible presence on social media and the Internet, the statistics show a worrying trend.
Maddie, a 15-year-old, Girlguiding advocate from Southampton, said, “Social media is an incredible tool, but these statistics show it can also have such a negative impact on our lives.”
“I think it is so sad to see how girls and young women today are becoming more and more affected by the pressures of social media.”
“Speaking from experience, it can be such a hard thing to face along with the other pressures of being a teenager or young person, and it can become very overwhelming.”
“Comparing yourself to others is a very easy trap for girls and young women to fall into, especially given how often we use social media to follow the lives of both our friends and celebrities.”
Youtuber, actress and writer Carrie Hope Fletcher, said, “Life online can be a daunting place for anyone and as it’s so relatively new, there’s a lack of rules and guidelines in certain areas and a social etiquette is yet to be fully formed so it’s often tricky to manoeuvre.”
“I’ve spent a huge portion of my life trying to navigate the depths of the world wide web and three things I would urge people to remember are that it’s ok to block people who are making you feel negativity; that there’s more to life than what’s on your screen – if things are getting heavy online, shut it down and go outside or get a hug from someone; and finally, you’re never alone.”
“The internet can be a wonderful place to connect with incredible people but so often it can make you feel very isolated and alone.”
“Trust me when I say, you never are!”