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Social media at Christmas: naughty or nice?

Christmas social
One in four teenagers say they couldn't enjoy Christmas without social media. Source: Shutterstock.com

Many of us have been guilty of tweeting @santa the night of Christmas Eve, Instagramming Gran’s infamous Christmas dinner and Snapchatting the family pet dressed up in an adorable elf costume.

Sharing the magic of Christmas can make the day even more special – but when does Santa-clad social media become more naughty than nice?

While Christmas day used to be a chance for loved ones to share thoughtful gifts and spend valued time together, one in four teenagers have admitted that the shares they get on their Christmas social media posts is central to their Christmas cheer.

But that cheer can quickly fade, as a survey carried out by The Children’s Society found that one in three teenagers get envious of their friends’ presents after comparing themselves on social media.

In simpler times, receiving the perfect present was enough to make it the most special Christmas ever, but now one swipe can reveal your friend also received your perfect gift, as well as that fancy new game you secretly had your eye on.

Thanks to flattering filters and fake photo shoots, surreal social media expectations mean one in five think their friends’ picture-perfect Christmas looks better than their own.

Social media can help friends to stay in touch over the holidays, as almost half of young people surveyed said they didn’t spend enough time with their friends at Christmas.

“Christmas can be a stressful time for everyone, including children. Many miss their friends whilst not at school and social media can represent an important lifeline to the outside world,” said Matthew Reed, chief executive at The Children’s Society.

Not everyone surveyed is on the naughty list though, with 40 percent of teenagers saying that being connected made them think about those who are less fortunate than themselves during the festive period.

“There will however be many children this Christmas with nowhere to turn, and at The Children’s Society we support thousands of these young people. It is vital that more of them are able to access the support they need all year round,” said Reed.

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