Mental health campaign urges people to take a tech break

The campaign by Read Social Tech is urging people to take breaks from social media and gaming for the sake of their mental wellbeing.

Joe Lepper | 29th Mar 19
Image shows a young girl looking sad with a mobile phone 820379104

A tech social enterprise has launched a fundraising push aimed at improving people’s mental health by encouraging them to take a break from social media and gaming.

The Tech Free Me campaign has been launched by Real Social Tech amid concerns that technology use can increase loneliness and harm people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Money raised will help people schedule breaks from social media and gaming and develop a website to track how this is impacting on their mental health, happiness and relationships.

The campaign website will also allow users to share with their social media and digital contacts why they are being “tech silent”.

Vicious circle of technology use

“To some extent, technology like social media has helped us connect with people,” said Real Social Tech Founder Stephen Gray.

“Unfortunately, when we use this technology too often we are more likely to experience loneliness, insecurities and other mental health issues. These issues then create a vicious circle of increasing our use of technology in a misguided understanding that it will help relieve the problem.

“We are now in a situation where younger generations do not know what it’s like to live without the technology, and it is now a fundamental part of their lives. I hope that campaigns like Tech Free Me will help parents and families to experience the somewhat forgotten pleasure of real social interactions.

“We will also make the anonymously collated data public to help cast some light on which tech platforms are causing the most harm and which types of tech breaks have the most positive effect on mental wellbeing.

“Real Social Tech was founded out of the frustration felt by me and others about the fact that, despite the rhetoric, not enough action is being taken to address the impact of poorly designed technology on society.”

Want to stay on top of the latest tech news in the third sector?

Get top insights and news from our charity digital experts delivered straight to your inbox three times per week.