A short one this week as we enter this period full of bank holidays (I’m not complaining, but it would be nice if they were a little more evenly spread throughout the year). Social media was a hot topic in two sessions. The first was Role Play Debate. This is a step-up from our Balloon Debate session from a few weeks previous. In that session, we learnt the basics of debating in an imaginary situation where the consequences could be drastic (getting pushed out of a hot air balloon) but are entirely fictitious. In our Role play Debate, the Gappies discuss a very real issue but are given different roles, whose point-of-view they have to represent. This time, we discussed the motion that ‘Social media is bad for our mental health and should be age-restricted’, featuring the views of Mark Zuckerberg, the Mum of a screen-addicted teenager, and a TikToker whose main audience is teenagers. This drew out some interesting arguments and proved the Gappies are capable of healthy debate, much healthier than that usually seen on social media. In the end, we decided that each party could do more to educate people but social media has its benefits so age-restrictions are not the answer.

On a similar wave-length, we had a whole session based around The Joys and Perils of Social Media. This time we had a deeper look at why we get drawn into social media so much and how we can get the good stuff without all that negativity that comes with it. What we should remember is it’s not all bad, social media can be an amazing platform for hearing views that you may not encounter on the news or amongst your typical social group and it’s also great for socially isolated people to make friends too. However, we need to remember not to trust everything we read online and sometimes online personalities may differ a lot from who people are in reality.

For some of our more fun sessions, we’ve been delving into some classic gameshows for inspiration. For us mentors, it’s a tried and tested format that we know and love, but some of our Gappies it’s the first time they’ve seen them! This time, we ended the week with a game of Countdown. Once more, my competitive side came out and I was in full concentration mode. Penny played the role of Rachel Riley, pulling out the vowels and consonants as we requested them. When the Gappies came out with some five letter words, I thought I may be in for a loss. However, I can proudly say, I emerged as WeDiscover Countdown Champion!

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