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Introduction to adolescent mental health
Introduction to adolescent mental health

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3.1 Young people and social media

Listen to the following interview with Martha and Josie talking about the impact of social media and ideas of perfection.

Activity 7: Ideas of perfection

What are the key messages presented here? Write down a few bullet points.

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Audio 3: Ideas of perfection
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Martha and Josie discuss how social media has the capacity to present unrealistic ideas about people’s lives and to perhaps encourage other young people to adhere to ideas of perfection. They both criticise the impact that social media influencers can have upon young people in presenting only the positive highlights and an image of their life which isn’t necessary real or healthy.

Unlike local communities, social media contacts can be invisible to parents and other caregivers and it can be difficult to know anything about what a young person is seeing and with whom they are interacting. This can be a source of concern for many parents.

Social media can, however, become a source of support for many young people who are struggling with their mental health, and this will be discussed in Session 7. In the next section, you’ll focus on the role online communities can play in shaping the way people regard their mental health, sometimes in a harmful and unhealthy way.