Empowering Youth as Changemakers for Digital Well-Being: A Discussion on Emerging Technology in Teen Social Media Use
This session addresses the critical need for comprehensive education and empowering youth worldwide as changemakers for well-being and health. The session will bring together five international expert speakers in the field of research, youth activism, tech advocacy, education, and policymakers. They will start the conversation with the increasingly popular use of generative AI in teen social media. The speakers will discuss their experiences in educating youth about digital well-being, safe social media use, interpersonal communication and mental health/self-care skills. We will discuss the barriers in interdisciplinary research of studying youth social media/emergent technology use and its developmental, psychological, and neurological/physiological impact. With youth activists/influencers as speakers, we will explore the impact of emergent technologies on their day-to-day lives and the challenges of advocating for change themselves and with their peers. And we seek to produce an actionable agenda on what needs to be done and what the best pathway is in achieving it.
By exploring these perspectives, this presentation will foster insights into the advancement of SDG Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being and Goal 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities, UN Global Digital Compact, and Local2030, and a deeper understanding of how to effectively educate youth about the implications of social media on their health and well-being, enabling them to make informed decisions and contribute to a sustainable future where young people can use this as a tool to thrive. This learning will also help youth be better prepared with the same skills to navigate the public dissemination of generative AI.
How the session is related to Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being – The presentation directly contributes to Goal 3 as its guiding goal is to improve the mental health and overall well-being of youth in the context of social media and emerging technologies. By providing insights into the implications of social media use on mental health and discussing strategies for empowering youth, the session aims to promote good health and well-being among young individuals.
Goal 4: Quality Education – The presentation also relates to Goal 4 by emphasizing the need for comprehensive education on social media and health for youth worldwide. By discussing research findings, teaching practices, and the role of non-profit organizations, the session aims to improve education methodologies in this area and equip young individuals with the knowledge and skills to navigate digital spaces responsibly.
Goal 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities – The topic of empowering youth as changemakers for digital well-being has implications for creating sustainable cities and communities. The key to sustainable cities and communities lies in the robust interpersonal connections we and, especially youth have with our communities. And technology and social media have become an innegligible mediator between individuals and communities. By seeking actionable solutions to the challenges posed by emerging technologies, the presentation will promote safe and inclusive digital environments and contribute to the overall sustainability of cities and communities.
UN Global Digital Compact and Local2030 – The presentation aligns with the UN Global Digital Compact, which seeks to ensure that digital technologies are used responsibly, ethically, and inclusively. By discussing the educational needs of young individuals in the context of social media and emerging technologies, the session contributes to the goals of the compact. Additionally, the focus on empowering youth as a grassroots force for change aligns with the Local2030 initiative, which aims to empower local communities to achieve the SDGs.