The issue of social media and teens has always been a controversial topic for researchers and mental health professionals. Ever since the Internet has become part of our everyday life, experts from different fields have begun exploring the effects of social media on mental health.
According to a recent post by BBC, current evidence suggests that spending time on social media has a relatively small impact on teen’s wellbeing and life satisfaction.
Let’s take a closer look at what a study of 12,000 UK adolescents revealed about social media and teens.
Social media and teens: Highlights from a large study
Many of you have probably heard about the adverse effects of social media use on today’s younger generation. But while some of these effects are valid, researchers are encouraging us to look at this issue from a broader perspective.
In other words, social media is just one of the numerous factors that can impact teens’ wellbeing and life satisfaction. In fact, social media use accounts for less than 1% of teen’s wellbeing.
As Prof Andrew Przybylski, one of the Oxford researchers who conducted the study, states: “99.75% of a person’s life satisfaction has nothing to do with their use of social media.”
The research team from the University of Oxford believes that factors such as friends, family, and school life can have a significantly higher impact on wellbeing and mental health.
Furthermore, it appears that how teens use apps is far more critical than the overall time they spend on social media. In other words, just because you spend more time scrolling through Facebook and Instagram than the average person doesn’t necessarily mean your health and wellbeing are at risk.
Overall, this study offers a different perspective on the relationship between social media and teens. But as one member of the research team clearly states, “Access is key to understanding the many roles that social media plays in the lives of young people.”
That’s why many experts in mental health are urging companies to collaborate with scientists in order to gain a better understanding of teen’s social media use.
To learn about treatment options for teens, click here.