'I worry for you girls': William slams 'fake' cyber world

Prince William and Professor Green speaking at Burlington Academy. Source: Getty

It’s not every day a real-life prince walks into your life, but that’s exactly what happened to a lucky group of high school students in London on Thursday. 

Year 10 students at Burlington Academy in West London received a surprise visit from the Duke of Cambridge and British rapper Professor Green, with unlikely duo teaming up to talk about the impacts of cyberbullying and the “fakeness” of the online world.

Speaking to the class from the stage, William revealed his fears about cyberbullying and the online pressures facing young teenagers today. In the open discussion, the father-of-two gave advice on maintaining a healthy wellbeing in the face of photoshopped images and social media pressure. 

“I worry for you girls. The touched up pictures are not real,” William said, Daily Mail reports

The prince spoke personally with students, Samara Hackett-Valton and Sophie Crowder, both 15, about the pressures of social media. “Don’t try to recreate them or think that’s what you’ve got to aim for. There’s a lot of fakeness online so don’t worry about that.”

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The 36-year-old told students it’s okay to be online, but said “it’s important that you balance the time”.

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“For your mental health, get outside, come away from the screen,” he said.

He sympathised with the challenges teenagers faced because of social media and the cyber world. “That’s a lot,” he said. “You must be aware of that, it’s a lot of pressure. There’s so many things going on. You’re going to be bamboozled.”

He also had an important message for male students, saying, “we’re not very good at talking about our emotions and how we feel”, and that boys need to work on being able to talk about their emotions. 

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“Girls have got a little bit better, and boys, we’ve really got to work hard on being able to talk to friends, family, and trusted people about how we feel,” he told the group.

After the assembly, William and Professor Green spoke to students who’ve taken part in workshops focused on mental wellbeing. 

William, along with his wife the Duchess of Cambridge and brother Prince Harry, have made the mental health of young people a key campaigning issue, launching the Stop Speak Support campaign in 2016. 

What are your thoughts? Do you think unrealistic online pressures are impacting our teens mental wellbeing? 

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