For Immediate Release
Posted: May 10, 2024


Kim Houghton, Communications Administrator
(603) 513-3030 |

Stop Scrolling, Start Something campaign encourages youth to break free from mindless scrolling

CONCORD, NH — To coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week (May 5-11), the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHED) is highlighting its Stop Scrolling, Start Something campaign, which launched earlier this year. 

Understanding that New Hampshire youth are not exempt from the teen mental health crisis facing America, NHED is aiming to educate students and families on the impacts of heavy social media usage. 

NHED’s Stop Scrolling, Start Something initiative urges teens to think about how much time they spend on their phones, while also encouraging them to take a break and start something more productive. Our landing page at provides dozens of alternative activities for teens and preteens to consider, including visiting a library, going on a hike, joining a friend at the local skate park, having a picnic with the family, starting a garden and more. 

“Understanding the impacts of social media and providing resources to parents and children to assist in curtailing these negative impacts is the first step forward,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner. “Encouraging our youth to find their purpose and meaning outside of the mindless scrolling will help to improve their childhood, future and overall well-being.”

The campaign has taken its message directly to New Hampshire students by meeting them where they already are – on social media. The campaign features advertisements on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok with lighthearted and silly short videos of unrealistic content – such as a moose driving a vehicle on the Kancamagus Highway, or Mount Washington relocating to Florida because of New Hampshire’s cold winters. The videos aim to remind teens that not everything they see on social media is true, and to instead be aware of the addictive doomscrolling and consider spending their time doing something more meaningful.

The Stop Scrolling, Start Something message aligns with Governor Chris Sununu’s executive order directing a statewide response to the impact of social media platforms on New Hampshire youth, as well as NHED’s Social Media Curriculum Framework and Guidelines and Social Media and Wellness Toolkit. The campaign also coincides with NHED’s existing research project with the Boston College School of Social Work to implement two school-based programs, Let Grow and Play Club, which study student well-being and play in elementary schools. 

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist and author of “The Anxious Generation.” His new book highlights what he describes as the great rewiring of childhood, or the end of play-based childhood from 1980 to 2010 and the birth of phone-based childhood from 2010 through 2015. “Few of us understood what was happening in children’s virtual worlds and we lacked the knowledge to protect them from tech companies that had designed their products to be addictive. For this reason, we ended up overprotecting children in the real world while underprotecting them in the virtual world,” Haidt states on his website.

Common Sense Media and other child advocates have also weighed in on this crisis, fighting to pass the Kids Online Safety Act and the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act. “Apologies do not protect kids. Only new laws will protect kids and teens online at this point,” James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, said in a statement last week. “We know that Meta and other large social media companies will continue to recklessly maximize profits at the expense of our children’s health and well-being unless lawmakers force them to change the design and operations of their products.”