Thought Leadership

Social Media: Is it time to log off?

Debates have started about social media's role and influence on our lives, triggered by data scandals, mental health impact and concerns about the levels of influence being exerted on all of us.

Neil Davidson, HeyHuman

Managing Director & Partner


HeyHuman - Social Media

These really are incredible times for social media.

Debates have started about its role and influence on our lives, triggered by data scandals, mental health impact and concerns about the levels of influence being exerted on all of us.

Many have called for people to end their dependency on different social media platforms, and businesses question the opportunities and risk that social media can pose.

However, whilst there has been much written about the negative side of social media we shouldn’t forget the many positives: using social media to start and grow a business, build positive communities, listen to and learn more about your fans and customers, and reach people at scale or target niche audiences.

So, is social media a force for good or evil? Is it time for all of us to log-off as individuals, brands and businesses?

Hosted by HeyHuman’s MD Neil Davidson, the event ‘Social Media – Is It Time To Log Off?’ held a panel session to debate the pros and cons of social media. The panellists drew on both their work and personal experiences to give us a broad range of view-points and help us decide whether it’s time to log on or log off.


Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health - Experienced voluntary sector leader in both the UK and the USA. The RSPH recently published a report called #StatusOfMind examining the positive and negative effects of social media on young people’s mental health.

Ian Collins, Host of the Late Show on LBC - Contributor to BBC and Sky News, and regular on The Daily Politics and BBC1’s This Week.

Paul Sutton, Digital Marketing Consultant - Works with communications agencies. In 2018 he launched the Digital Download Podcast with a focus on demystifying digital communications.

Lisa Dawson, Interior Writer & Blogger - Has a weekly lifestyle and home blog and runs social media workshops across the country. Two years ago, she launched the first UK interior hashtag #myhomevibe which was instrumental in creating an online interiors community.

Key take outs:

  • The highs and lows of social media. These included building positive communities, cyber bullying and the impact of social media on body image.
  • How to use social media to grow businesses. The secret weapon of social media is the ability to provide global reach with precision targeting, and these platforms offer both demographic and behavioural targeting.
  • The value of building a community of brand fans. Instead of blindly chasing fan numbers, brands should aim for engaged communities, building an online space where brand fans and customers are united.
  • Using consumer insight to inform content. Human brands actively listen to and learn about their customers in order to give them the relationship they want with the brand. It’s human brands that stand out on social media.
  • Smart ways to use influencers. When brands work with influencers, authenticity is key to success. The influencer’s personal brand must align with the brand’s core values in order to create credible content and conversations.


Visit HeyHuman's showcase to read the full report


Abigail Mayhew, New Business & Marketing Executive, HeyHuman,

Guest Author

Neil Davidson, HeyHuman

Managing Director & Partner,


Neil launched HeyHuman in March 2014, taking a step back to think about the future for agencies and new ways of thinking and working. This started out with a belief in 'Human Brands' and an approach focused on behavioural economics and neuroscience. Previously Neil has led, launched and re-positioned agencies in the UK and in Europe, including being a Board member of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, Strategic Planning Director of The Farm and Managing Partner of Rapp.

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