Healthy Social Media has been carefully structured to empower young people to critically assess social media and interact more responsibly online, in a way that safeguards their own wellbeing as well as actively contributing to that of others and society in general. It will do so by increasing the capacity of youth workers and educators to deliver such education in an engaging and practical manner as part of the local and regional community and youth services systems.

With your help by 2018, we will:

Undertake in-depth research on the digital lives of young people
Train and develop Youth Worker and Educators to teach digital citizenship
Empower Young People through developing their critical thinking skills

Our aim is clear:

Healthy Social Media aims: “to help make young people’s experience of using social media a healthy, positive and life affirming one.”

In order to achieve this, we believe that suppliers of non-formal education to the youth sector have a key role to play. Our project will work to provide them with knowledge, skills and tools to effectively teach social media literacy to the young people they serve. Specifically we will:

Undertake a thorough Needs Analysis Study to develop an accurate picture of the diverse digital lives of young people, including their motivations, behaviours and understandings.
Create a Toolkit of strategies and Open Educational Resources to teach digital citizenship in order to help young people critically assess and understand the implications of the digital footprint they are creating.
Develop a Media Literacy App to provide an accessible and appropriate way for young people to learn or revisit information regarding different themes of the open educational resources.

The benefits for you:

By engaging with our project, Youth Workers, Educators and Young People will benefit from:

improved understanding of the negative aspects of social media usage which can pose a risk to the mental and physical health, attitudes and beliefs (radicalisation) of young people.
new ways of engaging with hard-to-reach young people, often from disadvantaged backgrounds.
access to best practice policy tools and teaching strategies to catalyse learning on the effects and impacts of Social Media for responsible and active citizenship.
increased confidence in their ability to use social media in a healthy and appropriate manner.
more highly developed critical thinking skills, enabling young people to critically evaluate their position while participating in the social, cultural and political aspects of society.
greater awareness of the potential impact of social media as a double-edged sword, one that can erode confidence, impair interpersonal relations, create online peer pressure and abuse and alter values and beliefs.