In her 2018 report ‘Life in ‘likes’’Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield stated that social media has both a positive and negative effect on children and that whilst it enables them to do the things they want to do, like staying in touch with friends, it also makes them worry about things they have little control over. She observed that when children move from primary to secondary school they become more aware of their own identity and start comparing themselves to a broader group of people. This leads to them worrying about whether they fit in, what people will think of them, what they look like and who they should be.
Humans are sociable beings by nature but recent research by organisations such as the Office for National Statistics, the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness and Action for Children has identified that loneliness has become a real challenge, especially for young people. As a result, the Government announced in January 2018 that they would develop a Cross-Government Loneliness Strategy to try and combat this ever-increasing problem. It is recognised that whilst children and young people can have dozens of ‘virtual friends’ on social media, many report feelings of isolation and are unable to make or maintain friendships in everyday life.
Blackfield Creatives believe that the Arts should be used to empower children and young people and encourage them to consider how they can embrace the world around them. Our activities will offer a positive experience which will encourage students to value themselves, and each other, and consider how they can each make a genuine difference.
We can deliver a range of programmes within schools which will support students and give them an opportunity to open up and talk about what it’s like to be a young person in the 21stcentury, using the Arts as a creative outlet. We want children and young people to feel that they can express themselves and that someone is listening to them, as so often they can feel as if no-one wants to hear what they have to say or values their opinions.