#OwnYourFeed: O2 partners with YoungMinds to encourage positivity online

Social media. It has the power to connect us: bringing us closer to friends and family, to gaming, to shopping, to breaking news and more. But it’s not always what it seems – and young people in particular have told us that their social media feeds can have a major impact on their mental health and digital wellbeing.

Our own research has shown that 14-24 year-olds are one of the heaviest phone user groups, and the majority of them recognise the need for a better relationship with tech and the online world.* This group is the most vulnerable to negative habits online, but they also tend to be sceptical of support from authority figures, such as teachers or parents.

#OwnYourFeed and take control this New Year

It’s why this January, O2 has teamed up with YoungMinds – the charity that fights for young people’s mental health. We’ve worked together to launch #OwnYourFeed, a new digital campaign empowering young people to have a more positive time online.

As a responsible business we’re committed to helping everyone live better with tech. So we’ve shared our tech know-how with the mental health experts at YoungMinds to create a peer-to-peer, youth-led, social campaign that not only helps young people take stock of their social media use – but encourages them to own it.

For any of us, it’s easy to forget that your social media feed isn’t something that happens to you – you control it. And here at O2, we’ll be taking more positive action to help young people get the most out of their feeds. It’s time to tackle hatred and negativity and replace it with the best that social media has to offer.

Four weeks to better habits

Each week #OwnYourFeed will take on a different focus. We’ll be encouraging young people to take our quiz and find out what kind of social media feed they currently have (and how to make it a more positive place to be), or to unfollow negative accounts and focus on the ones that encourage passions and positivity. Lastly, #OwnYourFeed will encourage people to ‘Say Hey’: reaching out to others in their social community to start a positive dialogue online.

We’ve worked with 12 youth activists to ensure that the campaign is based on real, lived experiences. They’ve been integral to our planning, informing the design, featuring in videos and most importantly, candidly sharing their own personal experiences on the brand new #OwnYourFeed online hub.

O2 Music will also be at the centre of the campaign, as we invite five up-and-coming artists to share their own experiences of owning their feeds, and what digital wellbeing and mental health means to them. Check out @O2music throughout January to see what they have to say – and for a chance to win exclusive tickets to some of the best live music experiences happening at O2 venues in the coming months.

Alongside this, O2’s Gurus will be on hand to offer tech tips on the #OwnYourFeed hub, and we’ll be sharing the campaign across all of our social channels and O2 Priority.

Living better with tech

We’re really proud of our ongoing work with charities, and the huge success we’ve had in helping children and young people in particular to lead healthy digital lives. #OwnYourFeed is an important part of this work, and we can’t wait to make a positive impact with this too.

This is a critical time for both social media and technology. We must act now to enable young people to realise the positive potential these channels can have – and help empower them to truly own their feeds.


* The survey was carried out by Populus research for O2 with 1097 representative young people aged 14 and above in 2018.