Study Reveals Social Media Effects on Youth Include Unhappiness, Dissatisfaction [VIDEO]
Economists from the University of Sheffield found in their study the negative social media effects on youth. The more time children spend on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp, findings found the less happy they feel about certain domains in their life and just life overall.
The research was presented at the Royal Economic Society annual conference held in Bristol. The data gathered by the researchers led by Philip Powell showed when children spend even just one hour in social media, they will more likely feel unhappy by 14 percent.
Hours on Social Media Brings Unhappiness To Kids
The more time they spend chatting on the social media platforms, the more they develop the feeling of dissatisfaction towards their school work, the school they go to, their physical appearance, family and life in general. The findings suggest the social media effects on youth includes how going online to see updates of friends' life will more likely make children develop unhealthy social comparisons.
According to Powell, the comparisons made through online media makes people want to represent themselves in an idealized state. People usually post photos and videos that show how accomplished they are in life while those who see it might feel how their lives are stark in contrast as reported in The Guardian.
The team also split data and observed that kids who have low self-esteem have worse effects in using social media compared to those who have higher confidence. The economists seem to find a link that cyberbullying is one factor as longer duration of staying online raises instances of young people being victims of cyberbullying.
The recent research adds to the previous studies' findings that reveal the social media effects on youth. While the pros and cons of social media remain debatable, the alarming data, like the NSPCC reporting that being online increased the number of kids being hospitalized for self-harming, that continues to come up should be put into consideration of allowing children unlimited access to the online media.