IN AN attempt to take a break from the busy digital world, members of Year 9 and 10 at Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School took part in a Reconnect Project.

Over the course of six weeks, these pupils learnt all about algorithms and the way they learn your online habits and the effects of social media on today’s society.

Students who decided to participate in the final challenge opted to switch ‘offline’ for a week and see how the lack of social media contact affected their lives.

We spoke to students who took on the Reconnect Challenge.

One particular pupil told us how he has never used social media, “unlike my friends who have Snapchat. I only email”.

He also voiced his fear that social media “forces you to compare yourself to these ‘other’ people and can easily lower your self-esteem.”

Another pupil added that she had benefitted from not being so distracted and had more time to relax.

Although she did not switch off completely she experienced positive wellbeing knowing she did not have to ‘compete’ for likes; whilst others discovered that their phone was not a necessity after all and soon found themselves using it less after the first few days.

All who took part in the project agreed that the experience had been thought - and provided a realisation that whilst social media can connect us to the world, it is not essential.

By Cara McGrath