POSITIVE RESULTS WHEN TEENS TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
To explore the effects that social media usage is having on today’s youth, Smart Gen Society (SGS) teamed up with Omaha’s KETV and the Nebraska State Soccer Association (NSSA) to conduct a social media break experiment. A two-part chronicle following a local soccer team before, during, and after the experiment will air on KETV Sunday, November 21st at 10 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 22nd at 6 p.m. and on “Chronicle,” Sunday, Dec. 5th at 10:00 a.m.
A report from Common Sense Media states that American teens average nearly 9 hours every day on digital media (not including time spent doing schoolwork) and 50% of teens say they feel addicted to their devices. Research has shown that there is correlation between smartphone and social media usage and negative mental health effects. The KETV story supports this theory and makes a strong case for reducing the time spent on social media.
Nine junior and senior girls from the Omaha United ‘04 soccer team agreed to take the challenge of a one-week break from all social media and streaming applications. Julie Cornell, an anchor at KETV, interviewed the girls at the beginning and the end of the week. The team was encouraged to send video footage of how they were feeling during the experiment. Each girl was provided with support materials and counselors were on call if needed.
The results of the one-week break were profound for this group of teenagers. They felt less pressure, less anxiety, were more productive, slept better, and were happier.
“Our digitally dependent society is causing detrimental effects to our kids' mental health, safety and wellbeing.” said Amie Konwinski, Founder & CEO of Smart Gen Society and organizer of this experiment.“Taking a break is a great way for teens to reevaluate how much time they are spending online and how it’s making them feel,”
SGS is an Omaha-based non-profit working to empower smart digital choices through education, support, and advocacy. SGS aims to increase online safety and reduce negative outcomes caused by social media and digital technology. SGS and the Nebraska State Soccer Association (NSSA) work in partnership to make sure all coaches, players, and parents are safe and smart online. For more information on SGS’s mission and curriculum visit smartgensociety.org or @SmartGenSoc on social media. To view details regarding SGS’s partnership with NSSA visit smartgensociety.org/blog/article/nebraska-soccer-association.