The Duke of Sussex says social media is "more addictive than alcohol and drugs"

Naomi Gordon
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

The Duke of Sussex addressed the addictive dangers of social media and gaming on young people during an event in London yesterday, during which he also reiterated the importance of normalising the conversation around mental health.

Prince Harry met with families, children and young adults at the YMCA in South Ealing in west London, and spoke to representatives from charities including Stonewall and Young Minds about how social media and gaming break down human interactions and create an unhealthy space for cyber bullying.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

Discussing the addictive nature of Instagram and Twitter, and how young people are often bullied online, the 34-year-old royal said: "There's too much negativity surrounding mental health and it must be so hard for young people to talk about it.

"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.

"Without that human connection, when you do have a problem you have nowhere to go, and the only place you might go is online and you will probably end up getting bullied.

"We are in quite a mind-altering time, but quite an exciting time, because everyone in this room has the opportunity to make a real difference."

Photo credit: Getty Images

Criticising modern gaming for the same reasons, Harry continued: "A game like Fortnite for instance may not be so good for children. Parents have got their hands up; they don't know what to do about it.

"It's like waiting for the damage to be done and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down. Fortnite shouldn’t be allowed. Where is the benefit in having that game in your household?

"It's created to addict - an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It's so irresponsible."

In 2014, Prince Harry along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge founded the campaign Heads Together, which aims to dismantle the stigma surrounding mental health.

In a post on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new Instagram account, he added: "There continues to be huge progress in smashing the stigma that surrounds mental health, but let’s keep normalising the conversation. Let’s keep reminding each other that it’s okay to not be okay, and to listen to each other.

"After all, how we think determines how we act, how we feel, and how we treat ourselves and those around us."

Prince Harry and Meghan are expecting their first child together this spring.

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