Social media is damaging the mental health of teenagers due to constant comparisons with influencers and unattainable ideals. Länsförsäkringar, an insurance company with a focus on youngsters’ health and wellbeing, wanted to shine a light on this and help teens see beyond the fake online façade.
Social media is damaging the mental health of Swedish teenagers due to constant comparisons with influencers and unattainable ideals. Länsförsäkringar, a Swedish insurance company with a focus on youngsters’ health and wellbeing, wanted to shine a light on this and help teens see beyond the fake online façade.
“Social media can give you a quick rush, but the appreciation you feel doesn’t boost your self-esteem long-term.”
- Jenny Klefbom, Psychologist
We hijacked superficial events such as fashion shows and joined forces with the people causing the problem – influencers on front row – to ignite the spark. Soon, they became the solution. By wearing the #ImPerfect t-shirt, they turned themselves into human billboards with a contradictory message against their own perfection. Using teens’ closest online relation in this way enabled us to change social feeds and make imperfection and individuality the new ideal.
The pop duo Icona Pop and the upcoming fashion designer Ida Klamborn supported the initiative by creating the #ImPerfect t-shirt – a plain white t-shirt that was left deliberately unfinished, so the person wearing it could add their own individual finishing touches.
Taking social media into the classroom
We also launched a web series where teens talked openly about how big an impact social media has on their self-esteem. The short films were accompanied by discussion material that could be used as a teaching aid in class.
With the help of influencers, such as actors, rock stars and designers, who all joined the movement and acted as human billboards, we disrupted teens’ social feeds overnight. Within days, all major national media had covered the story. The topic made it onto the educational agenda – introducing social media as a positive new school subject. The initiative generated an organic reach of 40 million (4 times Sweden’s population) and scored 65 % recognition. The topic continues to be on the agenda for a healthier Sweden.