Impact of social media on mental health of young people

This is from The Economist on showing the effect of various social media platforms on young British people.

According to a survey in 2017 by the Royal Society for Public Health, Britons aged 14-24 believe that Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter have detrimental effects on their wellbeing. On average, they reported that these social networks gave them extra scope for self-expression and community-building. But they also said that the platforms exacerbated anxiety and depression, deprived them of sleep, exposed them to bullying and created worries about their body image and “FOMO” (“fear of missing out”). Academic studies have found that these problems tend to be particularly severe among frequent users.

From How heavy use of social media is linked to mental illness

23 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  August 6, 2018

    Something I was reading last night (possibly was a Guardian article, wish I’d bookmarked it) referred to study done that showed the ‘digital natives’ – the generation who have grown up with the internet & who are assumed by many to thus be more proficient at using it – aren’t. There is fundamentally no difference in knowledge of what’s on it & how to use it between the digital natives & the baby boomers and each age segment in between.

    • Well, I suspect that few people here were born after the internet was, and we all seem fairly proficient with computers. There’s a limit to what anyone can learn about these things.

  2. Zedd

     /  August 6, 2018

    There are several concerns about people ‘spending too much time on social media’

    1) I was having a beer in the pub recently.. I noticed that most people (even in groups) were more engrossed in their smart phones, than talking to each other

    2) students can type 40wpm on a keyboard, but cant actually write, very well with a pen on paper

    3) lack of exercise & physical activity; ‘obesity epidemic’

    4) besides the isolation issues.. people ‘sitting in dark rooms.. at their keyboards’ (commenting on blogs etc.) :/ 😀

    • I will ignore 4) 😀

      But….would the isolation be worse without computers ?

      I see older people together, absorbed in phones, as well as young ones and wonder why they bother to be with each other.

    • Corky

       /  August 6, 2018

      Zedd..as I said before, have a 16 kg kettlebell next to your crib. After every hour of posting, do 10 kettlebell swings. Before you know it you will be back to walking out to your letterbox. After three months you will ace any physical your doctors gives you. And you wont have to worry about point four. Kettlebells make excellent friends…they never disagree with you. That reinforces your worldview and creates excellent mental health. My kettlebells have faces painted on them.

  3. PartisanZ

     /  August 6, 2018

    Now THAT is what I call a survey!!!

    Awesome! Look at that easy-to-comprehend spectrum visual presentation … recognizing degrees of positive and negative … plus ‘beige’ or neutral outcomes …

    Much of the survey results Alan cited yesterday about Trump’s America would look quite different presented like this …

  4. alloytoo

     /  August 6, 2018

    All I know is that I feel much happier for not being on FB.

  5. PartisanZ

     /  August 6, 2018

    Perhaps The Economist’s subconscious political bias is showing? Why should positive be Blue and negative be Red spectrum?

    • Gezza

       /  August 6, 2018

      It’s based on the visible light spectrum most probably. It doesn’t seem to have any political connotations except maybe to someone obsessed with the idea.

      • It’s like the red button for off.

        I think that the fuss about red ink being aggressive when it’s used for corrections is rather precious. If that is the most aggressive thing that ever happens to someone, they will be very lucky indeed.

        • PartisanZ

           /  August 6, 2018

          In the Red … as they say … and in the Black?

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  August 6, 2018

            That has probably been around far longer than the political colours.

  6. I have an essay that claimed to define the then modern girl.

    The idea of being respectful and obedient to her parents was long gone; nobody wanted such ‘slow old morals;’

    The modern girl ‘dyes her hair and paints her face’, thinks of nothing but having fun and more clothes than anyone else, her language contains so much slang that it’s barely recognisable as English, she dresses like a tart and then wonders why she’s taken for one, has a ‘horror of all useful work….she is materialistic, lacking in consideration (and so on and so on; it’s a long essay) She ‘lives to please herself, she doesn’t care if she displeases others.

    This ‘loud and rampant modernisation with her false red hair and painted skin, talking slang as glibly as a man and by preference leading the conversation to doubtful subjects’ is a painful contrast to the writer’s generation.

    The girl referred to, by Eliza Lynn Linton, was the girl of the 1860s, not the 1960s, when much the same thing was being said (and it probably will be in the 2060s)

    The essay caused a sensation, but not as the writer intended !

  7. David

     /  August 6, 2018

    I think we are still figuring out how to use social media and I think the world would be a saner place without Twitter. In the US it was amazing how nearly everyone was glued to their phones, walking, having a drink, eating, at the shop counter the younger people just dont look up.
    One of the consequences is posture and it was striking the hunch in young people, they look terrible and no doubt hunched over a screen all day and their phone all evening. Observed a similar thing in Hong Kong except they combined it with a scary pear/podgy shape but again everyone glued to their phones.
    Makes you appreciate how epic kiws are when you get home.

  8. admiralvonspee

     /  August 6, 2018

    It’s not about “spending too much time” per se. It’s about the time people spend fawning over the lives of others in desire of the same things – but on self-reflection – realising they cannot obtain it.

    • They probably always have; conspicuous consumption is an old term.

      The 1860s girl was accused of wanting more and better and more expensive things than anyone else.

      • admiralvonspee

         /  August 6, 2018

        Indeed. The desire is as old as time. The difference is the accessibility, variety and volume that’s now available.

        • Mail order has been around for a very long time, but in catalogues. The principle was the same.

          HP has been around for a very long time, too, Anyone who claims that there was no HP when they were growing up must have been born in the Victorian era, or possibly before. Certainly not in the last century.