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Gen Z and Millennials are ditching social media over booze or sugar this febfast

Millennial’s and Gen Z have grown up with the internet and social media, but this month many are bucking the trend to cut down on addictive social media apps like TikTok and Instagram for the annual 28-day febfast challenge.

Media please contact: Alex Harrison, 0400 617 739 or aharrison@ysas.org.au – spokespeople and case studies are available to speak to media (participants of this year’s febfast challenge). Images and campaign creative are available for media use here.

Millennial’s and Gen Z have grown up with the internet and social media, but this month many are bucking the trend to cut down on addictive social media apps like TikTok and Instagram for the annual 28-day febfast challenge.

It’s no wonder this year’s febfast is seeing a record number of Australians swapping out the traditional alcohol and sugar fast for a month-long break from TikTok, Instagram or Facebook this February when, on average, Australians are consuming some digital media platforms like TikTok for 26 minute blocks, 8 times a day.

Melbournian and 2022 febfast participant, Zach (26), has chosen to give up TikTok to curb negative impacts on his concentration and productivity, “it’s almost like the app was altering my attention span, and not in a good way”.

Zach’s sentiments are widespread considering TikTok’s endless stream of content that is specifically designed to be as ‘moreish’ as possible. In a leaked memo produced by TikTok’s Beijing engineering team in late 2021, “TikTok Algo 101”, the world was given behind-the-scenes access to the highly sophisticated algorithm responsible for TikTok’s infamous ‘For You Page’’.

The memo revealed that the App’s algorithm curates targeted and optimized feeds for each user with the intention of keeping users in the app for as long as possible and have them coming back for more. 

“I’m starting to think that giving up TikTok might be harder than giving up sugar or alcohol,”he said.

Sarah (28) a young high school teacher in Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs is giving up Instagram this febfast.

 “I’m giving up Instagram for the month because I realised that doom scrolling was taking up such a significant portion of my day.

“It doesn’t feel good losing hour after hour to scrolling when I could use that time connecting with friends and family instead” she said.

Ex-social media users often report feeling happier, a better connection with family and friends, and increased productivity after getting off the app’s .

Zach and Sarah have registered for febfast under the ‘Other’ category which allows participants to join the cause by giving up something of their choosing.

“About five years ago, we introduced our ‘Other’ category with some pretty interesting results,” says Andrew Bruun, CEO of YSAS, “It’s surprising to see this growing trend of younger febfasters choosing to fast from social media over sugar or alcohol, but we encourage any fast that helps young people realise a healthier and more connected febfast”.

“That’s the beauty of febfast, it gives anyone the opportunity and time to take stock of the habits and behaviours they’d like to change, and kick-start the year right” he said.

4,000 febfasters have already registered this year with a growing number listing unconventional vices or habits such as social media, fast food, salt, or gluten.

Registrations for febfast 2022 are open throughout February.

Got a habit or vice you’d like to kick to the curb? Want to challenge your willpower and raise funds for disadvantaged young Australians while you’re at it? Register for febfast today:  www.febfast.org.au

[1] https://www.smperth.com/resources/tiktok/tiktok-statistics/

[2] https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/benefits-quitting-social-media-facebook-twitter-instagram/10307230

Register here: www.febfast.org.au

About febfast

febfast is where individuals pause for a cause by giving up alcohol, sugar or another vice of their choice, to support disadvantaged youth in Australia. It is the perfect excuse to kick-start the year with a little good health and good will. Across Australia, thousands of people give up alcohol or sugar for the month of February to raise funds for young people experiencing serious disadvantage to access the resources and support they require to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Find out more or register at www.febfast.org.au

About YSAS (Youth Support + Advocacy Service)

The Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) is Australia’s largest, youth-specific community service organisation. Operating since 1998 as Victoria’s flagship Youth Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) service, YSAS now employs over 400 skilled staff across 19 sites in metropolitan and regional Victoria. While YSAS continues to provide effective Youth AOD services, the organisation also has extensive experience in providing young people and families with services that support improved mental health and meaningful community participation.

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