What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Don’t kid yourself, it’s definitely not showering or making your bed. According to our research, 69% of you are checking your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Plus, 18% said it was the first thing they did in the morning and 6% at night.

We’re not gonna give you shit about it

We’re not here to give you shit about it (we all do it too)–we’re all simply a product of our environment. Many of us don’t remember a world without the internet or smartphones and these technologies have simply become a part of everything we do. Like our parents who woke to the sounds of the radio, this is just how we live with the technology available to us.

But the bad news is…

That said, 67% of you admitted to spending too much time on social media, and there are some negative repercussions to this. There’s an increased prevalence of cyberbullying thanks to the inescapable nature of mobile technology, as well as self-esteem issues, FOMO and lack of sleep. All of this is affecting our mental health, and it’s bloody scary.

But social media doesn’t necessarily create new problems, it’s merely a new platform for issues that have always existed throughout time.

Young people have always been prone to bullying and issues of self-perception, the internet just means there are more people listening and paying attention.

Whereas before we would scribble our thoughts on paper, now we broadcast on Instagram. Our audience has grown, so the stakes are higher, but the problems are the same.

There is good news 🙌

It’s not only the bad things that are being amplified though–there’s also a lot of good.

With a bigger bubble of people interacting with each other, authentic communities are being created that can be really affirming for people. This is especially true for young LGBT people struggling to find their place in society, as well as people in other minorities.

There’s also more transparent conversation about mental health issues among young people, with lots of support being offered and resources shared between friends. Seeing just one other person be honest about their struggles normalises these issues and can encourage more to open up and seek help themselves.

So what we’re trying to say is…

As with all instances of new technology, there’s definitely a teething period that we have to go through. It’s tough when new developments seem to pop up faster than we can adapt to them, but we’re doing what we can.

For every story of horrible cyberbullying out there, there’s a kid who’s using Facebook to affirm his sense of self-belief. For every instance of fake news misrepresenting the truth, there’s a group of friends finding and sharing information that will help them make sense of all the best and worst bits of their teenage years.

Sure, we check our phones first thing in the morning and before we go to sleep, but can you blame us?