RSPH launches ‘Scroll Free September’

A health body has called on the public to put down social media for a month in a bid to raise awareness of mental health.

Known as ‘Scroll Free September’, the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), said it is encouraging people to review their social browsing habits and look at the effect it may be having on your mental wellbeing.

It follows new research which shows that social media may have a range of potentially negative effects on our lives, including anxiety and depression, negative body image, cyberbullying, poor sleep and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

The RSPH said: “By taking notice of and learning which elements of social media make you feel good and which make you feel bad, participating in Scroll Free September could help you build a healthier, more balanced relationship with social media in the future – a relationship where your use is conscious and mindful, and where you are the one in control.”

For those uncomfortable with going cold turkey, it recommended that they try to reduce the time they spend on social media and their dependency on it.

For example, taking a break from social media at all social events, taking a break from social media every evening after 6pm, not using social media while at school or work, or banning social media from the bedroom.

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said: “The aim is that by the end of the month we will be able to reflect back on what we missed and what we got to enjoy instead of scrolling through our newsfeeds.”

However, she added: “Of course we know this will be a challenge because of the addictive nature of social media technology.”

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