There was an article in the Independent last week linking heavy social media use in young people with depression. Whether spending a lot of time on social media causes depression or vice versa is up for debate. On the same day I came across a young NQT on Twitter who had commented that joining Twitter was the best thing she had done since becoming a teacher. This rang a few alarm bells for me. Great to spend a few minutes a day connecting with people but the best thing ever?
As a school leader are you aware if your young (or not so young) teachers are relying heavily on social media? Obviously I don't know the young lady concerned but it did make me wonder what support she is getting in 'the real world'. Social media can be fun in small doses but it should not be a coping mechanism. There is also the problem of cyber-bullying too. It's happened to me but I just delete the comments and block the person. That's not to say it doesn't affect me though but I choose not to react.
Being a mathematician I decided to do a few calculations. A young primary school teacher I follow has been on Twitter since July 2012 (45 months at the time of posting this). She has made 46,800 tweets in that time which is an average of 35 a day. According to the DofE a primary school teacher works an average of 59 hours a week. Taking into account school holidays this averages out at 44.25 hours a week. With 168 hours in a week and taking off time for sleeping, working, travelling and eating I worked out that leaves on average 7 hours a day so 5 tweets an hour. Can you imagine how much time she must spend online, and not taking into account time spent on other websites? What are the effects on her physical health too?
For the record my stats are 83 months on Twitter and 3109 tweets at the time of writing this, an average of 37 a month or just over 1 a day.
So as a school leader are you aware of the impact this could be having on your school? Contact us today to book a consultation to see how we can help.