‘Scroll Free September’ is back - but could you give up social media for a month?

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Could you give up social media for a month? (Getty)

Could you last for an entire month without a single Facebook ‘Like’ - and resisting the urge to take a scroll down the endless timeline of Twitter?

It’s something a lot of us find difficult - but this autumn, the ‘Scroll Free September’ campaign is encouraging us all to ditch social media entirely.

The returning campaign r follows the establishment of health awareness months such as Dry January, when people cut back on alcohol, and Stoptober, when smokers are encouraged to quit.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is bringing back the initiative amid increased concern about the impact of social media on mental health, as new research suggests that people who use social media daily or more are almost two thirds (64%) more likely to have low mental wellbeing.

This year's effort is also encouraging people to take a break from online gambling, with nearly half (44%) taking place on mobile phones, according to research by the Gambling Commission earlier this year.

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Almost three in five (59%) social media users aged between 18-34 indicated that they are prepared to quit social media for one month, a RSPH survey of 2,076 adults said.

Two in five millennials claimed that they are worried about the amount of time they are spending on social media (40%), while a similar number shared concern about the potential impact on their sleep.

The campaign hopes that the 30 days away from social media will provide people with time to reflect on their relationship with social networks and gambling sites.

'Following the success of Scroll Free September last year, we are delighted to announce the launch of this year's campaign,' said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of RSPH.

'Social media now plays a central role in the lives of so many of us.

‘Social media can have a range of negative effects on our mental health and wellbeing, including poor body image, low self-esteem, and often causing us to negatively compare ourselves to the, very likely filtered, lives of others.’

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