The director of a Derbyshire social marketing agency who is working to help families navigate children’s mobile phone use has praised Kate Winslet for her impassioned Bafta acceptance speech highlighting the dangers of social media.
Anna Hutton, marketing director of MacMartin, an award-winning Derbyshire social marketing agency, has been delivering talks to teenagers in secondary schools aimed at helping them take back control of their social media consumption.
Passionate about using her social media knowledge honed through running a successful digital marketing agency to help young people develop healthy online habits, Anna said Kate Winslet’s Bafta acceptance speech in which she called on “people in power” to criminalise harmful content, was “timely, necessary and powerful”.
Anna said: “It was so great to hear Kate Winslet call out harmful social media content when she accepted her Bafta for I am Ruth. I thought it was brilliant that she used her acceptance speech to highlight how dangerous social media content can get for young people when they are often going through their most vulnerable years.
“Criminalising harmful social media content, as Kate Winslet suggested, is definitely a conversation to be had but in the meantime I think dramas like I am Ruth have such an important role to play when it comes to highlighting how quickly teenagers’ self-image and confidence can be derailed by allowing social media to take control.”
The powerful Channel 4 drama I am Ruth tells the highly relatable story of a mother and daughter’s relationship and how it becomes painfully fractured through social media.
The drama portrays how Ruth, played by Winslet, finds her daughter Freya becoming increasingly alienated from her. Freya, meanwhile, is in the grip of online content she consumes through her mobile phone, developing a negative self-image that hugely knocks her confidence and make her angry and sad.
This week US surgeon general Vivek Murthy is the latest powerful voice to add to mounting concerns on social media use amongst teens, issuing an advisory that it poses a threat to their mental health.
Murthy has previously told CNN that he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms.
Over-use of social media and destructive content has been cited as a cause of many ill-effects on young people, including disrupted sleep and a feeling of exclusion brought on by over comparison with others.
Now Anna and her team at MacMartin plan on using their expertise in social media on developing toolkits supporting families and young people to take back control of their social media usage.
Anna said: “When you’re consuming social media, you need to think about who is being targeted here? And what are the purveyors getting from it? They are after data, and business, at the end of the day. All I want is that teenagers and even younger children don’t become the victim of that.
“Our ethos at MacMartin is to try to use our skills and experience to help create a shift in behaviours. We want to help bring about positive changes in the society we all live in. Helping parents support children take back control of their social media use is one example of how we are doing that.”
The MacMartin team is keen to hear from any secondary schools who would be interested in finding out more about the company’s toolkits aimed at helping teenagers develop healthy relationships with social media.