We have been working with a group of young people to co-produce a new curriculum to support young people to be aware of their use and engagement with social media and how to navigate situations of conflict online safely.
As we are working towards embedding co-production as a strategic priority, it’s really important that this work is guided by young people’s lived experience of social media. This is why we formed a co-production working group made up of six young people and two staff members.
We identified social media as a focus because social media can cause high levels of both internal and external conflict, with a huge impact in young people’s lives and their mental health. A recent study links heavy social media usage with negative wellbeing and self-esteem for young people.
The co-production process
The group began working together in August 2021, with the early sessions focusing on getting to know each other and building relationships. After these introductory sessions, we focused on understanding different group members’ experiences of social media, pulling out key themes to focus the curriculum around. The group discussed what they felt would support young people in this area, and explored different activities, games and resources that could be developed. By the end of the project, the group have created:
A social media survey to hear from other young people regarding their experience of social media and channel these findings into the project
A social media curriculum consisting of games and exercises that explore key issues around young people’s use of social media.
A video sharing top tips around safety and wellbeing when using social media
A poster sharing top tips for schools and other organisations working with young people
The new curriculum is informed by the co-production group’s lived experiences of conflict on social media, and by experiences gathered in the survey of other young people.
They identified key priorities for our new curriculum:
- to explore people’s identity on social media as well as motivations behind using it
- to create greater self-awareness for participants regarding their engagement with social media
- to explore conflict that occurs through social media using Leap’s core activities such as red flags
- to look at tools and strategies participants can use to navigate these moments
- to explore some tips and tricks that have been created by the group to cope with conflict
If you are interested in finding out more about the support we can offer around social media or co-production, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org