Snap Selects 18 Teens for First Council for Digital Well-Being

May 15, 2024

We are excited to announce the members of Snap’s first-ever Council for Digital Well-Being, our 18-month pilot program for young people in the U.S.! We are looking forward to working with this group of teens to hear their perspectives on the state of their digital lives today, as well as their hopes and ideals for more positive and rewarding experiences online. 

Since first announcing this program at the beginning of this year, we received more than 150 applications, which included submissions about the applicants’ relationships with their phones, examples of changes they want to see in the platforms they use, and their expectations for participating in the council. Choosing this first cohort was no easy task, as there were many impressive candidates. The selection process has resulted in a diverse group with a range of experiences and ideas. 

To the applicants who were not selected this year, please know that we greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into your applications. We hope that you will continue to stay engaged in promoting healthy behaviors online, and that you consider applying in the future or participating in other similar programs. 

The inaugural council is made up of 18 13-to-16-year-olds from 11 U.S. states. Below are excerpts from some of the selected members’ applications, reflecting what they hope to gain from participating in the program. 

“I look forward to gaining valuable insights, skills, and knowledge that will, in the long run, transform me into becoming a better advocate. This means advocating for the perspectives and needs of my peers, amplifying their voices and pushing for initiatives that prioritize their safety, privacy, and overall well-being in the online space.” - 15-year-old from California

“I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for digital well-being in my school and community… I believe that sharing the knowledge and experiences gained from this council will empower others to navigate the online world safely and responsibly because sometimes it takes hearing it from a fellow peer to really understand.” - 15-year-old from Florida 

“I am excited about the possibility of making a tangible impact, whether through community projects, policy recommendations, or awareness campaigns and leaving a positive mark that reflects the collective effort of the Council. Ultimately, my expectation is to emerge from this experience not only as a more informed and empathetic individual but also as an empowered change-maker ready to take on future challenges." - 16-year-old from Vermont 

Soon, we will host our virtual kick-off before coming together for an in-person summit at Snap HQ in Santa Monica later this summer. At the summit, we will have small-group and full-council discussions on various online safety and well-being topics, a separate “parent track” for guardians and chaperones, interactive sessions with guest speakers, as well as some fun activities. We hope to offer the teens opportunities to deepen their knowledge of online safety and digital citizenship issues, hone their leadership and advocacy skills, grow as team players and peer mentors, and gain insight into possible career paths at a global technology company.   

The internet is, as council members put it, like “a vast library filled with archives waiting to be explored,” and “there’s never a dull moment” when you’re online because there’s “boundless opportunity for communication, creativity, and learning.” We also know real risks exist for teens online today. We will regularly share the council’s knowledge and insights as to how young people can approach online spaces, leveraging strategies that promote safety and stronger digital well-being. As another member said, “I firmly believe that there is so much beauty” on online platforms… ”we just have to learn to manage it.”

Congratulations to our selected members, and thank you again to everyone who submitted an application. Here’s to a successful and productive program! 

– Viraj Doshi, Platform Safety Lead

To learn more about Snap’s commitment to, and work in, online safety generally, visit our Privacy & Safety Hub, where we recently released our latest research on digital well-being in the U.S. and other countries.