DISRUPT YOUR FEED
Disrupt Your Feed is all about protecting the mental health of girls, providing them with a way of enjoying social media - turning it from potential toxicity into a force for good.
WHAT ARE THE FACTS?
The prevalence of 24/7 digital connectivity
Mental health worries, rising rates of depression, anxiety and even suicide
Negative headlines across the news
Growing concern from parents, educators, healthcare professionals & policy-makers
It is now widely accepted that there is a correlation between the rise of social media and more challenges to mental wellbeing, especially amongst teen girls.
In 2018, The Female Lead and psychologist, Dr Terri Apter set out to explore the ways in which teenage girls interact with social media and if the interactions:
made a measurable difference to their outlook
impacted their mental health and their offline lives
The study encompassed large-scale data analysis of hundreds of thousands of social media accounts by Starcount, alongside a year-long qualitative study in five schools across the UK.
The 2019 results were striking. Dr Apter concluded that there is a direct (causal) relationship between who you follow and your self-belief.
Participants in the study reported positive outcomes from taking the lead in who they followed. We termed this ‘Disrupt Your Feed’. The Female Lead is able to suggest positive role models and content to girls around the world based on their passions, interests and ambitions.
“I don't have to be hourglass and be a makeup artist or a model. I can be successful and independent. It's no longer just about what I look like but actually about what I think, which is definitely more important”
- Leila Symonds, Study Participant
“My social media now has given me much more self-belief”
- Sophia Harley, Study Participant
Based on these ground-breaking findings, The Female Lead launched a social media pledge. The campaign inspired healthier social media habits and empowered people to follow those who make them feel good.
influencers shared the pledge
YOU CAN SHARE THE PLEDGE TOO
We would love for you to be involved in sharing our pledge on your social media feed during International Women's Week.
We have created 3 versions of the pledge in different colours so that you can pick the colour you like best!
You can download the pledge here.
You can use any of the suggested captions here or create your own! But make sure to tag us and use the hashtag #DisruptYourFeed
Our channels are:
Instagram & Twitter: @the_female_lead
LinkedIn, Facebook, Tiktok, YouTube: @thefemalelead
DISRUPT YOUR FEED 2023
The Female Lead has committed to promoting Disrupt Your Feed every year because our research has proved that this intervention (the disruption) continues to work.
This year, on International Week, The Female Lead is proud to release new findings with their highly valued and longstanding research partner, Dr Terri Apter.
Dr Terri Apter
- Jane Hoffman, Fellow, Harvard University, Author "Your Data, Their Billions"
"Every woman should be cheering the impressive innovative research and new perspectives from The Female Lead. Social media both empowers and harms but female role models can make a difference for young women today."
The Disrupt Your Feed campaign accepts that girls will continue to consume popular content but encourages them to mix it with valuable content about real women who they admire.
Following positive female role models:
Can inspire higher career aspirations and
more positive outcomes
'Disrupts' the current celebrity-focused algorithms
Allows girls to discover real women with exciting/aligned personal interests & ambitions
This in turn means that girls can distinguish between fantasy and reality. This means better mental health and can become a force for good. Disrupt Your Feed is for everyone. Make the change now.
WHERE TO START...
Follow one or two influencers who make you feel empowered!
Presenter, Doula, Author of Be Your Own Bestfriend
Writer, Journalist, Editor @notplantbased, Deputy Health Editor - Mail on Sunday
Britains First Asian Plus Size Model, Lawyer, Actor, Founder of @Girllikemeonline
DISRUPT YOUR FEED
2018 - 2022
Review findings from 5 years of our
Disrupt Your Feed project:
Whilst recovering from the impacts of Covid-19, The Female Lead wanted to assess how repeated lockdowns had affected our relationship with social media.
In February 2022, we polled tens of thousands of women in a new survey into attitudes towards social media.
The survey revealed that most women are aware of the negative impact of social media on their well-being and self-esteem.
78% of people believe that social media has negatively affected the way they view their bodies
75% of people worry that social media has a negative impact on their mental health
59% of people believe that their life would be better if social media didn't exist
*POLL OF 56,000 SURVEYED IN FEBRUARY 2022
The Disrupt Your Feed campaign was supported by Bauer Media Group across radio, online publications and social media.
Our campaign was also featured in Ofcom's 2023 Listening to Experts: Mental Health and Media Literacy report.
October 7, 2019
October 6, 2019
Mental health of teenage girls could be 'dramatically improved' if they ditch 'photoshopped' Instagram models
Teenage girls are being encouraged to ditch the 'social junk food' of negative role models and follow positive figures like Michelle Obama and Emma Watson...
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DISRUPT YOUR FEED
IN THE NEWS
October 12, 2019
October 18, 2019
New social media scheme encourages girls to follow positive figures such as Michelle Obama
'Disrupting the feed' is making Instagram less toxic
Teenage girls are being urged to ditch negative role models and follow inspirational, positive figures such as Michelle Obama and Emma Watson. A groundbreaking scheme shown to...
Disrupting the Feed may be the leader when it comes to breaking down the toxicity of social media. The study asked teenagers to follow four inspirational women on Instagram. The follow list included activist Greta Thunberg, actress and activist Jameela Jamil...