We are the Screen Savers – a team of children and young people who are passionate about social media, screen time and the positive impact it can have on all our lives.
We are made up of MCPs (Members of the Children’s Parliament) and MSYPs (Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament) and we were also joined by some other children and young people who were interested in this issue. We have consulted with committed children and young people from all over Scotland to find out what they want to know, and what ideas they have, about how we can all use screens and social media in healthy ways.
We know that not all social media and screen time is positive. So, we have been working on this new exciting digital site called Mind yer Time that provides positive tips, stories and information from children and young people, for children and young people, on how we can use screens and social media in ways that protect our health and wellbeing.
We think that ‘healthy use’ is about finding a balance in life – spending time on screens and social media, and spending time doing lots of other things without screens too, but we know that ‘healthy use’ may be different for everyone.
Over 9 months we met regularly and talked about the positive and negative impacts that screens and social media can have on children and young people (and adults too!). With these things in mind, the Screen Savers from the Scottish Youth Parliament then designed a national survey which reached young people across all of Scotland’s local authorities to further gather the views of young people and hear what issues are important to them. During the 9 months, the Screen Savers from Children’s Parliament worked with 100 children from three local authorities to hear their views, experience and ideas about how we make a website that they would want to use.
All the Screen Savers from Children’s Parliament and Scottish Youth Parliament held a Discussion Day, with other children and young people from across Scotland, where all participants could share their stories and ideas for this new exciting website.
A Valuable Journey
We have all been on a brilliant journey to develop this site and really feel we have been able to use what we have learned from the project in our own lives.
We wanted to make a change to how social media and screen use is viewed. It is such an important part of our lives, but understanding and finding a balance in how we use it is just as important.
Each section of the young person’s site contains written accounts of young people’s experiences and tips that could support others going through something similar. On each page of the children’s site, you’ll find top tips and quotes from children across Scotland.
From The Scottish Youth Parliament
Being from Orkney, I’ve really enjoyed being able to give a more rural perspective on the issues that face young people with social media. Being in a rural place does mean that social media is really important in helping people stay in contact with each other, so to me I think it’s a really valuable tool. I want young people to feel empowered by technology and feel able to use it knowledgeably and without fear. Part of this does include needing to understand the impact that negative use can have and knowing how to combat that.
Hi, I’m Jack and I represent Perthshire South and Kinross-Shire as an MSYP. In my spare time, I enjoy playing strategy games like ‘Civilisation’ and reading about politics. I joined Screen Savers because in the past I have struggled with using social media appropriately and I wanted to be part of helping other young people to use screen time and social media in a healthy way.
Hello! I’m Abbie and I’m 17 and an MSYP for Carers Trust Scotland. Since joining the group I have been inspired to limit my social media use after 10pm!
Hi my name is Molly and I come from Glasgow. I got involved with the Screen Savers project because I personally struggled with using social media healthily and wanted to be part of a project that acknowledges this growing problem and tackles it. Since I have been involved in the project I have made the conscious decision to remove my phone from my bedroom at night after learning the consequences on sleep.
Hi my is Wiktoria and I represent Motherwell and Wishaw as a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. I got involved in the Screen Savers project because it was a topic that I know impacted my life very deeply. I am part of the generation that uses technology on a daily basis and I was also a victim of the addiction it brings, and sleepless nights that come with it sometimes. I wanted to help other young people who struggle with this, and help create something, as I know that social media makes a huge impact on young people, both positive and negative. I always remember looking down on myself as I compared myself to other people and I wanted to make sure that young people are no longer impacted by this, by creating something that could help.
Hi everyone, my name is Marissa and I am 19 years old. I am an MSYP for Renfrewshire South in East Renfrewshire. I joined the Screen Savers as social media is so prominent in today’s society and I think there needs to be more support for young people.
Hi my name is Crisantos and I am an MSYP for Rutherglen. Since I got involved in the Screen Savers team I found that I could spend my time doing more things and taking a more ‘balanced’ approach to using screens – spending less time on social media so as to have more time to study and time to myself and my family.
Since becoming involved in the project I’ve definitely become more aware of my use of social media and how that impacts how I feel about myself.
My name is Holly and I joined because I wanted to make change to the negative views on social media. There are many benefits of social media such as being able to contact friends that live in different areas, however, it’s good to have some form of balance in use – things can become difficult to deal with when spending too much time with screens, and I wanted to make sure no one experiences this without support or help.
I joined the Screen Savers group as I felt this was a massive root of the mental health epidemic that our young people face and this is something I wanted to work on and positively impact. Throughout the project, I have developed a more balanced use of social media and screen time by setting my dark mode and do not disturb to automatically turn on at 10pm – which is helping my sleep schedule, as I was kept awake by notifications. The dark mode filter helped me to avoid sore eyes and headaches too!
Hi, my name is Caitie and I represent Skye Lochaber and Badenoch as an MSYP. I became involved in the Screen Savers project because I’m really passionate about mental health and I was interested to find out more about the link between that and our relationship with social media. Since I have been involved in the project I have realised how much of an impact using our phones has on our health, and how beneficial it can be to have a break or use them less!
From The Children’s Parliament
Hi, my name is Liam and I’m 10 years old. I live in Clackmannanshire. Being a Screen Saver is really fun. I like to spend time watching YouTube videos but since becoming a Screen Saver, I don’t use my phone all the time and I actually go out sometimes to play with my friends.
Hi, my name is Paige. I’m 10 years old and live in Clackmannanshire. I like sometimes watching YouTube as there’s some songs I like on there. Being a Screen Saver, I’ve learnt not to watch stuff past my bedtime and I don’t take my electrical devices to my room anymore. My advice is to try and set a time limit and don’t go to sleep with your devices! You also find other things to spend your time – I like to do art and play outside when I’m not on my screens.
Hi, I’m Tyler. I’m 10 and live in Clackmannanshire. I like to explore the internet to find new information. I like being a Screen Saver because we’ve done a bunch of activities we’ve never done before. My top tip for children to stay healthy when using screens is to stay on things appropriate to your age and break down your time for what suits you.
I’m Kirsty. I’m 9 years old and live in the Highlands. I like to spend time outside, climbing trees and tyres, jumping, doing gymnastics and running. I also like to go on TikTok because I can learn new dances from people. Being a ScreenSaver, I have realised I go on screens quite a lot so I’ve changed to only one hour a day. I’m sleeping better and my eyes aren’t as sore. I don’t have blue lumps under my eyes anymore!
Hi I’m Brodie and I’m 11 years old. I live in the Highlands. In my spare time, I enjoy drawing and going out on my bike. I also like to go on my phone or play PS4 with my brother. During the Screen Savers project, I’ve learned how other people compare themselves to others on the internet and try to force themselves to be like others. My advice for other children is: Be yourself! Don’t let anyone else change you!
I’m Sarah and I’m ten years old. I like playing outside – tennis, going running or cycling after school. I go on screens less – by about half an hour – because I was getting really tired. Now, I’m not so tired! If you can, my advice is to gradually go on your screens less and spend more time outside. It’s healthier for you, it keeps you fit and it’s fun to be with your friends!
I’m Austin. I’m 9 and I’m from Glasgow. I like to play on my PlayStation but I also like to play outside with my friends a lot. I think the Screen Savers project has taught me that I don’t need to be on a screen to be happy. You can always go out to play and when you play with your friends, you don’t have to be on your phone.
I’m Omima and I’m 10 years old. I’m from Glasgow. I like to read a lot in my spare time, especially Harry Potter. I like to draw and do art. I like to go outside and play football – I’m a very active person. I use screens for stuff like recording videos and talking to my friends on Whatsapp. I also use this app which my school sets us challenges on called Sumdog. I think Mind Yer Time can make you think differently about being on your phone all the time.
My name is Abbie and I’m 11. I live in Glasgow. I like to draw and do acting with my school. When I use my screens, I like to Facetime my friends, play games and record videos. As a Screen Saver, I’ve learned that you don’t need to have a phone in your face every two seconds. You can do other things and leave it down. Instead, you could go and try drawing, talking to your family.
I’m Cyberbuddy and I’m a 9 year old guinea pig. I like to play outside with other guinea pigs, and eat grass, dandelions and hay. As a Screen Saver, I’ve learned how much children use screens and social media and how it affects their lives. It affects guinea pigs too as it can lead to me feeling neglected! My advice for children and guinea pigs is to spend time outside and less on screens. Eat your greens!