William: Social media takes its toll on young people's self-esteem
The Duke of Cambridge has criticised the impact of social media on young people's confidence and self-esteem at an event to raise funds for two children's charities.
Speaking at a gala in aid of the Children's Trust and SkillForce, William discussed how much pressure children are under compared with previous generations.
The Children's Trust helps children suffering from brain injuries, while SkillForce works with ex-servicemen to teach young people resilience, leadership and self-esteem through mentoring and workshops in schools.
"The pressure on young people these days is considerable - almost certainly more than even for my generation not so long ago," the Duke said.
"Children are tested more than ever before and are being prepared to enter a highly competitive work market.
"On top of this, there is a sense of being 'on call' 24/7 through social media, and the subsequent strains this can have on relationships, home life and, ultimately, a child's sense of their own self-worth. It can all take its toll.
"Role-modelling and giving a child the tools of courage, discipline and resilience are a demonstration of great love and commitment to that child's success in life.
"If you are not taught these skills at a young age, it can be very, very difficult to learn them as an adult."
The event at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, north London, marks the launch of the Prince William Award, aimed at helping children aged six to 14 develop their confidence.
Among the guests were comedy duo Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, actress Vanessa Redgrave, singer Elaine Paige and cricketer turned presenter Phil Tufnell.
The evening was hosted by comedian David Walliams, who is an ambassador for the Children's Trust.
Guests were treated to a performance by acrobats on silk ropes while staff sported novelty top hats for the circus-themed evening.
William's criticism of social media echoed those of his his brother Prince Harry when he made an impromptu appearance at an event for young people in Toronto during the Invictus Games in September.
He told teenagers at a WE Day Convention celebrating charity work: "You all know it's great to 'like' things on social media, but that it's more important to look up from our phones, to get out into our communities and to take real action, to stand up for what you believe in."