Fearne Cotton admitted she fell into a “trap” of “compare and despair” thanks to social media.
The 37-year-old presenter – who has children Rex, six, and three-year-old Honey with husband Jesse Wood – thinks spending time online is probably one of the “biggest problems” of modern life.
She says it can be so damaging to mental health and she wants the “younger generation” not to feel like they have to live up to the perfect existence they see on the internet.
Asked how much she thinks screen time and social media affects mental health, she told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “I think it’s probably one of the biggest problems.
“I think we underestimate how big a problem it is. Some of it is lovely and you can find your own community online but it also brings a whole host of comparisons, and that kind of compare and despair model that’s the worst.
“I fall into that trap at the age of 37 as do many of my peers, and you have to really work hard and apply some discipline so as not to. We have to remind ourselves and the younger generation that there’s choice involved.”
Fearne used to let her children go online but after realising they were spending a lot of time “mindlessly scrolling”, she confiscated their iPad.
She said: “I’m trying to keep them as little kids as long as I can, so we hid the iPad about three years ago and they’ve kind of forgotten it exists.
“I don’t mind what they watch off kids’ Netflix, but when they were on kids’ YouTube and were mindlessly scrolling through videos of kids opening Kinder eggs, I thought ‘Oh my God, I can’t govern this’. So I took it away.”
While Fearne is currently feeling “good” about her own mental health, it isn’t something she takes for granted.
She said: “I feel good today but I don’t know what I’m going to feel like tomorrow. It’s not like ‘yeah, I’m having a really calm 2019’. God no. Today I feel fine.”
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