10-12 year-olds feel pressure to look good in selfies

10-12 year-olds feel pressure to look good in selfies

A new survey commissioned by BBC Newsround suggests 10-12 year-olds are feeling the pressure to look good in the selfies that they share on social media. BBC Newsround commissioned ComRes to conduct the survey to coincide with Safer Internet Day 2017, 7th February. The survey also looked into the concept of sharenting – parents sharing images of their children on social media – and found that lots of kids don’t always think it’s good fun.

The survey involved 1,000 10-12 year-olds who use social media, of whom more than half (55%) say they share selfies. The vast majority of those who do say it’s important that they look good in the selfies they post (83%). On average this group take four selfies before choosing one to share and three out of four (75%) say they edit photos at least sometimes before posting them. One in five of those surveyed (20%) agree that when they see photos of celebrities on social media it makes them worry about how they look.

More than one in four 10-12s who say their parents post pictures of them on social media (29%) report feeling embarrassed, anxious, or nervous when this happens. One quarter of those surveyed (27%) say they have been unhappy with a photo someone else has shared of them. More than one in three (39%) said that made them feel sad, anxious or nervous – the most common reasons for that unhappiness were not liking the way they looked (61%) and not being asked first (42%).

“More than one in four 10-12s who say their parents post pictures of them on social media (29%) report feeling embarrassed, anxious, or nervous when this happens.”

Despite these pressures, most 10-12 year-olds who use social media enjoy it, with 83% saying they feel happy, sociable or excited when they use social media and more than one in three (39%) saying they would feel excluded, sad or lonely if they didn’t have it any more.

BBC Newsround’s Deputy Editor, Georgina Bowman, says :
“We commissioned this research to find out more about how our audience are using social media, as part of broader coverage of Safer Internet Day on CBBC. We discovered they’re feeling under pressure to take the ‘perfect’ selfie. It’s also clear that parents’ ability to embarrass their children lives on when they share pictures of their kids on social media.”

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About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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