Social media use should be ‘limited like junk food’: What food would our favourite platforms be?

The Children’s Commissioner for England has said parents need to set boundaries for their children’s use of social media and the internet “in the same way they would use sweets or junk food”.

In a blog post on her website, Anna Longfield wrote: “You wouldn’t let an eight-year-old eat a double cheeseburger and fries every day of the year, so it’s important children aren’t left to use smart phones, computers or tablets without agreed boundaries.

“It doesn’t have to be about restriction and control – which is unlikely to win over any child anyway – but something children will often love: working out together a good way to be online.”

There’s probably a lesson for adults in this about spending too much time online.

It’s sparked a thought: If social media sites actually were junk food, what would they be and how would we indulge in them?

Instagram: Chocolate

Chocolate bar on dark brown background (mchebby/Getty/PA)

You hop on Insta to post one photo, but before you know it you are looking at your ex’s new girlfriend’s brother’s trip to Ibiza with the lads.

Why can you never just have one look, in the way you can’t have just one square of your favourite bar?

All in all though, it’s a pretty sweet place.

Snapchat: Hotdog

Dancing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Snapchat has so much in common with the humble hotdog.

It invented the ubiquitous dancing hotdog filter to jazz up people’s posts, and it’s disappearing snap feature means naughty things can be sent via the platform with only a small chance of repercussions.

Just like picking up a quick dawg at IKEA, you can hop on to Snapchat, take a look around and jump off, without needing more.

Facebook: Cheesebuger

A cheeseburger (vasiliumosise/Getty/PA)

The OG of social media, Facebook is just like the classic cheeseburger. You can upload as many photos of your antics as you like, just like adding toppings to your burger. Beware though; you may feel extremely bored wiht other people’s business by the end of a long Facebook stalk.

Why specifically a cheeseburger? The added cheese is the presence of family members leaving cringe-worthy comments on your status updates or uploading embarrassing childhood photos.

Twitter: Pizza

A slice of pizza is pulled from the whole

The 140 character limit on Twitter is like eating one slice of pizza at a time. Endless gifs, humour and tweet storms provide a variety of toppings to choose from, based on who you follow.

Be careful though. Some harsh things are said on this platform. Don’t go burning the roof of your mouth by diving in when a topic gets too hot.

YouTube: Fizzy drinks

Parallel_Studio_ GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

YouTube supposedly has everything you need to quench your video thirst. The funny thing is, the more videos you watch, the more you want to watch, especially if you get caught up in playlist.

Music videos, documentaries, animals being silly and a host of stars who found fame on the platform – whatever you want, it’s got it. A bit like experimenting with a soda stream.

Life, TechnologyWeb editor