Social media is converting a generation of children into liars who are increasingly taking up the haibit of social lying; projecting a perfect yet fabricated image of themselves on social media platforms, a leading headmistress in England told the Daily Telegraph.
In an interview, Sue Hincks, who currently works as the headmistress of the Bolton Girls division and is also the succeeding president of the Girls School Association (GSA), said children shared too much personal information on social media platforms.
Girls School Association (GSA) is a Britain-based education organisation that provides representation to the heads of leading independent girls’ schools in the country. The members of the organisation include South Hampstead High School in north London, which also counts actress Helena Bonham Carter among its alumnae and Oxford High School, where the pottery tycoon Emma Bridgewater and actress Dame Maggie Smith also studied.
According to Hincks, teenagers were inclined towards curating a certain image of themselves through their social media accounts, including popular online platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. She said she believed that teenagers must learn how important it was to project themselves with integrity, rather than telling “convenient lies” in their personal and professional lives.
“If you get used to showing one image of yourself on social media, you may begin to believe that is completely aligned to reality,” Hincks told The Daily Telegraph. She added how teenagers concealed their imperfections led to negative attitudes and later trespassed into other aspects of their personal lives as well.
“I’m not saying people shouldn’t improve, obviously if you want to present your best self which is fine. But you might gloss over things that are core to your identity that it’s useful for people to know – you don’t want people to be ashamed of any aspect of their life. We have to tell the truth and encourage young people to present their weaknesses”, she said.
While talking about the growing use of social media in kids, she said youngsters, after some time, started aligning this false image to reality and encountered numerous mental and psychological issues. According to Hincks, the adverse impact of social media on kids was quite visible in their everyday life routines. For instance, while entering the workplace, they should share both their strengths and weaknesses with fellow colleagues.
She advised youngsters to be honest and scrupulous with their CVs and must not “cut corners”. “If people are putting forward an image that everything is rosy, that they are finding it fine to juggle their career and family – and then if it suddenly all falls apart, there is no support network”, she added.
Commenting on why social media was bad for kids, Hincks emphasised the role of public institutions and other parts of the society in relation to promoting integrity among the youngsters. “People revealed to be unfaithful to their spouse don’t lose all public integrity in the way they once did,” she said. The Church and institutions such as the BBC used to be considered as “bastions of public morality”, but now schools have had to fill the void, she added.