Social Media Pressure Causing Anxiety in Teens

Interesting snippet today for you from Food for the Brain:

Time to put that smartphone down! Social media use leads to increased anxiety in teenagers

Over the last few years the accessibility and usability of our tablets and phones as extensions of our social lives has increased and many of us use our phones and tablets constantly – just quickly checking what your friends have been up to on Facebook, sending tweets…

New research has highlighted how damaging the effect that social media has on teen anxiety. The study examined the mental behaviour of nearly 500 teenagers on their overall and night-time specific use of popular social media platforms. By utilising a number of tests, including measuring factors such as sleep quality, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and the emotional investment they had in social media, results indicated that the teenagers were experiencing poor sleep quality, lower self-esteem and higher incidence of anxiety and depression.

The authors of the study comment that “Adolescence can be a period of increased vulnerability for the onset of depression and anxiety, and poor sleep quality may contribute to this”. Lead researcher Dr Woods concludes that “While overall social media use impacts on sleep quality, those who log on at night appear to be particularly affected. This may be mostly true of individuals who are highly emotionally invested. This means we have to think about how our kids use social media, in relation to time for switching off.”
I can certainly see how constant checking could cause stress – it’s like being on-call 24/7. Maybe encourage an earlier switch off..?

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