Negative Impact of Social Media on the Lives of Adolescents
Social media has fundamentally changed how young people spend time, share information and talk to others. This has led to widespread concern about its potential negative impact. Yet, even after years of research, there is still considerable uncertainty about how social media relates to wellbeing. The team looked for a connection between estimated social media use and reported life satisfaction and found key periods of adolescence where social media use was associated with a subsequent decrease in life satisfaction. The researchers also found teens who have lower than average life satisfaction later use more social media.
According to research published today by an international team of scientists, including experts from the Oxford Internet Institute, it is found that girls and boys might be more vulnerable to the negative effects of social media use at different times during their adolescence. Girls experience a negative link between social media use and life satisfaction when they are 11-13 years old and boys when they are 14-15 years old. Increased social media use also predicts lower life satisfaction at the age of 19 years. The link between social media use and mental wellbeing is clearly very complex. Changes within our bodies, such as brain development and puberty, and social circumstances appear to make us vulnerable at particular times of our lives.