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Duchess of Cambridge: Social media is ‘so addictive’

The Duchess of Cambridge has warned that social media can become “so addictive”, saying it is “hard to break away from”. 

The Duchess, who met with school students to discuss the challenges they face, said she had learned the online world can become “part of your lifestyle”, with negative as well as positive connotations.  

Raising questions over whether social media put too much pressure on young people, she emphasised the importance of students monitoring their own healthy use of apps.

The Duchess, who is pregnant with her third child, on Wednesday visited a west London school working with a children’s mental health charity, spending time with pupils of all ages. 

Attending Reach Academy in Feltham for her first public engagement of 2018, the Duchess  chatted with three and four year-olds in the nursery before going outside to meet the school’s puppy Bear.

The Duchess of Cambridge during a discussion with older students

Credit:
Eddie Mulholland

Later she spoke to older children about the challenges of social media and said she has heard it can get “so addictive”.

At the end of the public part of the visit she spoke with teenagers about the challenges they face. She asked them: “Do you feel that social media puts a lot of pressure on young people?”

After hearing some of their stories, she said: “From what we’ve been learning from the work we’ve been doing [with Heads Together] it can get so addictive,” she added. “It becomes part of your lifestyle, doesn’t it?

The Duchess of Cambridge with a Reach Academy pupil

Credit:
Eddie Mulholland For The Telegraph

“It’s hard to break away from that, but having the support and learning, the good ways of using social media, because it’s great in so many contexts, but it’s also being able to sort of monitor your own use of it as well, which is great.”

Earlier in the visit, she spent time in the nursery and with younger school pupils, as well as meeting a trainee therapy puppy.

The Duchess, who owns a pet dog herself, immediately took to poodle and bischon frise cross Bear, stroking him and asking about his training before presenting him with a rosette to mark the completion of his puppy training.

The Duchess of Cambridge chats to nursery children while they paint

Credit:
Eddie Mulholland 

Bear’s owner Karen Howard, who is an attendance and community support officer at the school, said afterwards: “My main concern was he’d been digging all morning and he’s really dirty.

“He wasn’t too bad, he’s been really naughty all morning.

“She said ‘he’s a really fluffy dog’. She said he was really cute and really well behaved.

The Duchess of Cambridge meets Bear

Credit:
Eddie Mulholland 

“She was very interested to hear about therapy dogs and the children were telling her ‘the dog makes us really happy’.

The Duchess also met the school guinea pig, chickens and watched children planting in the garden.

At the end of the public part of the visit she spoke with teenagers about the challenges they face. She asked them: “Do you feel that social media puts a lot of pressure on young people?”

The Duchess, who was wearing a maternity dress by Seraphene and coat by Hobbs, arrived at the school at 11.30am to be greeted by children singing Nina Simone classic I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.

The Duchess of Cambridge with Bear

Credit:
 Duchess of Cambridge

She told them: “Very impressed with the singing. “I wish every morning could start off like that.”

Place2Be provides children’s mental health services to 282 schools in the UK, including the Reach Academy Feltham, west London.

The Duchess has been the charity’s royal patron since 2013.

She supports a range of mental health charities along with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Place2Be helps children experiencing issues such as bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma.The Duchess’ own two-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte this week started attending nursery at Willcocks in Kensington.

The nursery has been praised for its “kind and gentle” approach, while the most important rule at Prince George’s school, Thomas’ Battersea, is “be kind”. 

The Duchess has previously spoken of her approach to her children’s education, saying last year: “My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty, and I realise how central values like these have been to me throughout my life.

“That is why William and I want to teach our little children George and Charlotte just how important these things are as they grow up.

“In my view it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport.”

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/10/duchess-cambridge-goes-back-school-first-visit-2018/

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