Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Prince Harry talks the dark side of social media and games like Fortnite

The royal describes social media as 'more addictive than drugs and alcohol'

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex listens to the Youth Ambassadors Mental Health Champions during a visit to YMCA South Ealing in west London, to learn more about their work on mental health and see how they are providing support to young people. AP 
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex listens to the Youth Ambassadors Mental Health Champions during a visit to YMCA South Ealing in west London, to learn more about their work on mental health and see how they are providing support to young people. AP 

The Duke of Sussex has had an interesting week online: with his wife, Meghan Markle, he has now officially separated from his brother online, launching the Sussex Royal Instagram page.

However, at a recent event, he got very real about the affect of social media on the mental health of young people.

[It’s important that] younger people coming through are less connected to their phones [and] have the human connection as well.

Prince Harry

During a visit to a London YMCA, he described social media as "more addictive than drugs and alcohol."

"There’s too much negativity surrounding mental health, and no wonder it must be so hard for young people to talk about it," the royal said in a speech.

"Look at growing up in today’s world. Social media is more addictive than drugs and alcohol and it’s more dangerous because it’s normalised and there are no restrictions to it. We are in really quite a mind-altering time, but quite an exciting time, because everyone in this room has the opportunity to make a real difference and change the times.

"[It’s important that] younger people coming through are less connected to their phones – well, they can be just as connected to their phones if they want to be, but they have to have the human connection as well. Without that human connection, when you do have a problem you have nowhere to go. And the only place you might go is back online."

The father-to-be then went on to discuss the addictive nature of video games like Fortnite.

"That game shouldn’t even be allowed," he said. "What is the benefit of having that game in your household, no matter what age you are? It’s created as an addiction to keep you in front of a computer as long as possible."

The round table discussion included representatives from British charities: Young Minds, Student Minds, Muslim Youth Helpline, Mermaids, SafeLives, Beat and Ditch the Label.

Updated: April 7, 2019 07:27 PM

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