The use of social media by young people can reduce their satisfaction with life

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According to a survey, the more time 11-13 year old girls spend on social media, the less satisfied they are with life after one year.

The study, conducted in the UK and published in Nature Communications, found similar results for 14-15 year old boys and 19 year old girls and boys.

Scientists believe that sensitivity to the effects of social media at a certain age may be associated with brain, hormonal and social changes during adolescence.

Further research is needed to fully understand and prove the link.

Researchers from Cambridge and Oxford universities and researchers at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior say social media companies need to share more of their data with scientists for further research.

Experts say social media can also have a positive effect, such as helping young people maintain social contact during the Kovid epidemic.

‘Brain development’

Chief Investigator said. Amy Orben says the link between social media use and mental health is very complex, and so far studies have produced mixed results.

“Changes in our body and social conditions, such as brain development and puberty, seem to weaken us at certain times in our lives.

“We can now focus on adolescence where we know we can be at the highest risk and use this as a step to explore really interesting questions.”

Researchers examined reports from more than 72,000 respondents in a UK family survey to find out how satisfied they are with their lives and how much time they spend interacting with friends on social media on a typical day.

Seven surveys were conducted between 2011 and 2018.

In general, the most negative relationship between social media use and life satisfaction was observed among adolescents.

According to the answers given in the survey, the following conclusions have been reached:

  • 16-21 year olds who reported that their daily social media use was absent or excessive (more than seven hours) reported three hours less life satisfaction than users.
  • Young people showed a different result; Their life satisfaction usually decreases with greater social media use.

Scientists then focused on a small group of 17,409 people between the ages of 10 and 21 to explore whether current social media use affects future satisfaction.

They looked at snapshot surveys of each person’s self-reported life satisfaction and their use of self-reported social media for more than seven years.

The study found that among 11- to 13-year-old girls, those who increased their use of social media in the last 12 months had less satisfaction after one year.

Researchers say their research does not predict which individuals are most at risk. They also say that many other factors, such as the content of social media content and the people they interact with online, will also affect the mental health of young people.

They note that for some people, social media will have a positive effect overall, enabling them to connect with friends and gain support.

Professor Bernadica Dubica, a child mental health specialist at the University of Manchester, commented on the study:

“This is an interesting study, reflecting the complexities seen in sensitive adolescents in clinical practice and moving away from the wholesale approach to whether social media is beneficial or harmful.

“This study only covers the period up to 2018; Since then, the use of social media has become more prominent in adolescents’ lives than ever before, especially during epidemics, and emotional distress has increased significantly, especially among older adolescents.

“It is important to develop this research to understand the harmful and helpful role of social media in the lives of young people.”

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