Social media has a ‘tiny’ effect on teenagers

A recent study by the University of Oxford research team has shown that social media accounts for less than 1% of a teenagers well being.

The effects of social media on teenagers has always been a concern and now more than ever as we are firmly in the digital age but recent studies show that maybe the concern we once had wasn’t based on facts but opinions.

As a recent study by the University of Oxford which has declared this study to be (more in-depth and robust than previous ones) has shown that the effect of social media on teenagers is ‘almost trivial’ as it accounts for less than 1% of there happiness and well being.

After a study of almost 8 years that consisted of tens of thousands of children between 10-15 being asked how much time they spend on social media and to rate how satisfied they were with other aspects of life.

Proffesor Przybylski, director of research at the institute, said: “99.75% of a person’s life satisfaction has nothing to do with their use of social media.”

Although social media is not having the impact that is suggested by many there is no denying that adolescents are spending much more time on social media. An average of nearly 10 hours a day, while this may seem alarming Prof Przybylski said “parents should stop worrying about how long their children spend on platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat, and instead talk to them about their experiences.”

The report has gained some followers who have expressed their discontent for the negative stigma attached to social media such as Micha Frazer- Carrol of the guardian who said “Don’t demonise social media, it can be a blessing for teens with problems”. Although not all share the same enthusiam, people such as June Eric Udorie a feminist who said “Social media is harming the mental health of teenagers. The state has to act”.

Prof Liz Twigg from Portsmouth University, who is currently leading a large-scale study of the impact of social media on children, welcomed the study.

We managed to interview a teenage girl who gave us her thoughts and feelings on social media and the impact it plays.


“As the authors themselves recognise, no study like this provides definitive evidence, but this one certainly provides compelling evidence,” she said.

This may not be a definite answer but it has helped provide us with an answer that makes sense through facts and this may just be the beginning of a conversation that has needed both sides.

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