Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis Around the world, billions of us use social media every day, and that number just keeps growing. We use it for every part of our lives — in our personal relationships, for entertainment, at work and in our studies. To put it into some context, every minute we collectively send more than 30 million messages on Facebook and almosttweets.
Current Research The Upsides The Downsides The verdict is still out on whether social media is damaging to the mental health of teens.
This is in part due to the lack of research. Some studies show that online connections with small groups of people can be beneficial to teens, while other research points to a rise in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Plus, no long-term studies have been completed.
Small Studies, Worrisome Results One study out of the University of Pittsburgh, for example, found a correlation between time spent scrolling through social media apps and negative body image feedback. Those who had spent more time on social media had 2.
The participants who spent the most time on social media had 2. Further, teens are influenced to like photos, regardless of content, based on high numbers of likes.
Teens in marginalized groups—including LGBTQ teens and teens struggling with mental health issues—can find support and friendship through use of social media. When teens connect with small groups of supportive teens via social media, those connections can be the difference between living in isolation and finding support.
While teens can use social media to connect and create friendships with others, they also confront cyberbullying, trolls, toxic comparisons, sleep deprivation, and less frequent face-to-face interactions, to name a few.
Teens girls in particular are at risk of cyberbullying through use of social media, but teen boys are not immune.
Cyberbullying is associated with depression, anxiety, and an elevated risk of suicidal thoughts. Everything from physical appearance to life circumstances to perceived successes and failures are under a microscope on social media.
Having too many fake friends: Even with privacy settings in place, teens can collect thousands of friends through friends of friends on social media.
The more people on the friend list, the more people have access to screenshot photos, Snaps, and updates and use them for other purposes.
There is no privacy on social media. Social interaction skills require daily practice, even for teens. Human connection is a powerful tool and builds skills that last a lifetime.
The key to helping teens learn to balance social media with real life friendships is to keep the lines of communication open and keep talking.
Honest communication shows your teen that you are there to support, not to judge or lecture. She may miss her phone a lot less than she thinks she will and this is a very good lesson to learn.
Article Sources Sidani, J.Do the benefits of social media, like finding support online, outweigh the negative affects social media can have on teens' mental health?
Jul 12, · A recent study found that, when using social media, a teens' brain responds to 'likes' in a similar way to when they see loved ones, or win money.
Oct 25, · Read more about the ways social media is changing the world in The Impact of Digital Content: Opportunities and Risks of Creating and Sharing Information Online white paper with main contributors Shannon M.
Dosemagen, Farida Vis, Claire Wardle and Susan Etlinger and other members from the Global Agenda Council on Social Media. Jul 12, · A recent study found that, when using social media, a teens' brain responds to 'likes' in a similar way to when they see loved ones, or win money.
A study that explored the relationship between teenagers, social media, and drug use found that 70% of teenagers ages 12 to 17 use social media, and that those who interact with it on a daily basis are five times more likely to use tobacco, three times more likely . The verdict is still out on whether social media is damaging to the mental health of teens.
This is in part due to the lack of research. Some studies show that online connections with small groups of people can be beneficial to teens, while other research points to a rise in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.