The provincial government is encouraging youth to step away from the screen and social media, through a campaign called “Take A Break”. The initiative was launched yesterday.

“Basically raising awareness that there are positives and there are negatives, and for everybody, it’s important to find that right balance,” explained Education Minister, and MLA for Weyburn-Big Muddy, Dustin Duncan. “If that means for a time, taking a break and stepping away from social media, we’re certainly trying to encourage more of that.”

In a release issued Wednesday, the government noted a study from the Canadian Pediatric Society from 2019 that detailed concerns from parents about social media use. In that study, 75 percent of parents were concerned with how much time their children spend on social media. Thirty-six percent of the respondents also stated their 10-13-year-olds are on electronic devices for more than three hours a day.

Another study cited by the provincial government, this one from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, stated there has been a seven percent increase in the number of adolescents who are on screens for more than five hours a day compared to 2013-17.

The campaign is centred around a website that provides information on the impacts of too much screen time, what alternatives to screen time are, and how to create a healthy balance of time in front of a screen, be it on social media or not, and time away from the screen.

“It’s really just to provide some tools and tips on things you can do, some of the reasons why you may want to take a break, and I’m certainly encouraging students to make that commitment,” Duncan added.

The provincial government will also be advertising the Take A Break campaign somewhere it will be visible to the audience they are trying to reach – social media channels. They are also taking out advertisements in print media as well.

You can find more information on the Take A Break campaign on the provincial government’s website.