Schoolchildren would be happy if social media did not exist as more than half have experienced abuse or had their confidence knocked by websites, a study has found.
Charlotte Robertson, co-founder of Digital Awareness UK, which carried out the research, said that teenagers were following the example of celebrities who had made social media detox a "cool" thing to do, citing the Kardashians and Ed Sheeran as examples.
Young people are "starting to acknowledge that this isn’t helping and is starting to impact their health and wellbeing in ways that they hadn’t recognised before," she said.
The study provides evidence of a growing backlash among young people disillusioned with the negative aspects of the technology, such as online abuse and fake news.
Ms Robertson added that "brick" phones, such as the Nokia 3310, have been "snapped up" by young people as they rebel against constant social media access.
Two thirds of schoolchildren said they would be happy if it had never been invented and 71 per cent said they had taken temporary digital detoxes to escape it.
Many respondents indicated that using the platforms is having a negative impact on their emotional well being.
A total of 57 per cent said they had received abusive comments online, 56 per cent admitted to being on the edge of addiction, and 52 per cent said social media makes them feel less confident about how they look or how interesting their life is.
While more than 60 per cent believed friends showed a "fake version" of themselves on social media, 85 per cent of pupils questioned denied they were guilty of that themselves.
The feedback was not all negative, with students identifying memes, filters/lenses and storytelling features, such as Snapchat Stories, among the things they like about social media.
The survey of 5,000 students at schools in England was undertaken by Digital Awareness UK on behalf of the the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).
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