Life in ‘Likes’

Office of the Children's Commissioner


While social media is officially for those aged 13 and above, recent statistics show it is also widely used by 8-12 year olds. Our research for the Children’s Commissioner reveals  the impact this has –  while these children enjoy using social media for fun and to stay in touch, it can also have negative effects on their emotional wellbeing.


Children are mostly conscious of the need to protect their privacy and stay physically safe online, but are less aware of the potential emotional toll of being frequently connected and comparing themselves to others, including celebrities.

As children move from primary to secondary school their use of social media changes and the balance of enjoyment, pressure and risk shifts as their peer group changes.