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Emilie Silverwood-Cope: Social media is tampering with young people’s self-esteem





While the Online Safety Bill is debated and rewritten, Kate Winslet starred in, and co-authored I am Ruth. It is a devasting family drama which laid bare the agony that can come with parenting a teen in the digital age.

Life can feel particularly overwhelming when moving from childhood to adulthood, and this can be exacerbated by social media.
Life can feel particularly overwhelming when moving from childhood to adulthood, and this can be exacerbated by social media.

Winslet starred alongside her real life daughter, Mia Threapleton, who plays Freya, aged 17. Seventeen is a well chosen age. It is the age a teen is moving from childhood to adulthood, and life can feel particularly overwhelming as academic pressures build. Kate plays a middle-aged mum, struggling to get the right tone and find the perfect words to help her unhappy daughter.

We have all been that parent. We have all found ourselves grappling for the right thing to say in a key moment and, instead of fixing a problem, our desperation just makes it worse. It was agony hearing my own fall back phrases of “get out for a walk”, “have something to eat”, “tell me what’s wrong” and how futile they sounded when directed at a depressed teenager. Ruth wants her child to get back on track, to cheer up, to re-engage with life and school, but mainly, she just wants her to be happy.



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