Does Social Media Make Teenagers Sad? It Might Rely upon Their Age.

Nonetheless, analysis searching for a direct relationship between social media and well-being has not discovered a lot.

“There’s been completely a whole lot of those research, nearly all exhibiting fairly small results,” stated Jeff Hancock, a behavioral psychologist at Stanford College who has carried out a meta-analysis of 226 such research.

What’s notable concerning the new examine, stated Dr. Hancock, who was not concerned within the work, is its scope. It included two surveys in Britain totaling 84,000 folks. A kind of surveys adopted greater than 17,000 adolescents ages 10 to 21 over time, exhibiting how their social media consumption and life-satisfaction scores modified from one 12 months to the subsequent.

“Simply when it comes to scale, it’s unbelievable,” Dr. Hancock stated. The wealthy age-based evaluation, he added, is a significant enchancment over earlier research, which tended to lump all adolescents collectively. “The adolescent years will not be like some fixed interval of developmental life — they convey speedy adjustments,” he stated.

The examine discovered that in early adolescence, heavy use of social media predicted decrease life-satisfaction scores one 12 months later. For ladies, this delicate interval was between ages 11 and 13, whereas for boys it was 14 and 15. Dr. Orben stated that this intercourse distinction may merely be as a result of ladies are inclined to hit puberty sooner than boys do.

“We all know that adolescent ladies undergo numerous improvement sooner than boys do,” Dr. Orben stated. “There are numerous issues that may very well be potential drivers, whether or not they’re social, cognitive or organic.”

Each the girls and boys within the examine hit a second interval of social media sensitivity round age 19. “That was fairly stunning as a result of it was so constant throughout the sexes,” Dr. Orben stated. Round that age, she stated, many individuals undergo main social upheaval — like beginning school, working in a brand new job or residing independently for the primary time — that may change the best way they work together with social media, she stated.


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