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De Montfort Switches off Social Media

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

De Montfort University in Leicester is switching off all its social media channels for a few days to help encourage students to do the same.

The university wants to highlight how unrestrained social media use can be detrimental to the mental health of young people.

The university is active on nine different social media channels, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

The Vice-chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard has also said he will stop using Twitter.

He added: "In conversations I've had with students, I've been really struck by the degree to which their over-engagement on social media is having a negative impact on their mental health."

"They don't want to come off social media completely but they do want to recalibrate their relationship with social media."

During the days that social media is turned off, there will be a range of physical activities being promoted, such as free gym passes.

Researchers at the university have examined the use of social media. Lee Hadlington, associate professor in cyber-psychology, said: "The key benefit of doing a digital detox is that it will highlight to people just how much time they spend on social media and perhaps provoke them to ask why."

"This will give people the chance to explore what sort of things that they are missing out on when they are engaged in social media and will encourage them to engage with people face to face."