Amongst their duties as one of Europe's very largest pay TV companies, Sky engage in a surprisingly large amount of community outreach programmes. One such programme is the Sky Academy initiative, which brings together top celebrities from across culture and sport like David Beckham, Melvyn Bragg, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Davina McCall and Thierry Henry with education programmes designed to inspire and encourage young adults. Their work has already brought confidence to thousands of young people, and now, as part of 'Confidence Month', they've partnered with YouGov to study the link between social media and confidence.
It's no secret that social media has grown to become an integral part of young Briton's lives, but this new study sheds some light on what purpose that media serves for them. Amongst its headline findings, it would that 32% of all social media users aged between 11 and 24 describe themselves as more confident on social media than in real life, and 42% claim so when they describe themselves as low on confidence inside themselves.
The research also shows that girls aged 11 to 24 are heavier users of social media, with 89% using compared to 82% of boys, whilst 36% of girls say that they're more confident on social media than in person, compared to 28% of boys. Also, girls are more like to upload pictures of themselves onto social media (63%) compared to boys (41%). Part of this activity can be described as image management on behalf of social media users, who create idealised versions of themselves to present outwards.
Bullying also plays a surprisingly large part in social media, with more than one in five social media users aged between 11 and 13 saying that others have written mean things online about them, showing that there's still much to be done in battling the causes of bullying, rather than simply the arena in which bullying takes place.
Rather than taking place on the Sky phone service, the poll was conducted online via YouGov with total sample sizes of 1638 for those aged between 11 and 24 and 677 of parents of children of those ages.
Alfie Deyes, vlogger and Sky Academy Ambassador comments: “I always try and remember that anybody who writes negative comments on social media can’t be 100% confident themselves. In order to build confidence, my advice is to surround yourself with positive people who bring out the best in you. There’s no point in wasting your time on people who aren’t there for you. Just block and ignore the haters, and surround yourself with the right people.”
Annette Du Bois, Confidence Coach and Sky Academy Ambassador, said: “It’s extremely important that young people know how to handle themselves online. Social media provides a false sense of security; the screen is a shield, hiding frailties, and while it allows young people to be more open online, they can’t replicate it offline. Because the sense of endorsement online is so fleeting, people share more daring and often untrue information in an attempt to gain the acceptance on social media that they can’t receive in the real world, and without knowing how to cope, it can be very easy for a young person to lose their self-esteem.”
Lucy Carver from Sky Academy added on the Sky phone: “Confidence plays a crucial role in helping young people succeed and unlock their potential, and it’s really important that young people feel confident, both in person, and on social media. Having worked with over a quarter of a million eight to 24 year olds so far, we know that by providing real experiences, Sky Academy builds skills which ultimately build confidence. It’s our aim to help one million young people by 2020.”
Sky Telephone Number is operated by Search Me Ltd, a company who provide affordable alternate numbers for customers to contact their service providers. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone companies access charge. We are not affiliated with this or any company listed on this website. Callers must be over the age of 18.