It comes as no surprise that we are seeing consciences to social media use in our society, especially in young adults and teens. Do you remember who hard middle school and high school were, with bullying and hormone changes, without technologies like social media and cell phones? One can only imagine how social media has added some fuel to that fire, and one study done by the University of Michigan starts to chip away at that theory.
The University of Michigan polled over one million 8th, 10th and 12th graders from all around the United States. The study was focused on time spent online and teenagers’ happiness. Basically, the researchers wanted to see what the correlations between time spent online (which includes using social media and texting) and teens’ overall happiness were. The findings, as some may presume, are not that shocking. Hopefully parents everywhere heed warning to the research, as it’s rather clear that teens who spend an absorbent amount of time online are less happy.
Here are some of the key take-aways from the study:
-The more time teens spend online, the less satisfied they are. This includes surfing the internet, texting, using social media, gaming and video chatting.
-Those who spent more than 40 hours online per week were the least happy.
-Teens who were online more than 5 hours a day were twice as likely to be unhappy as those who were online less than one hour per day.
-The happiest teens were those who spent majority of their time with friends, and little time on social media.
-After 2012, teens’ happiness and self-esteem plunged. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, that’s the year smartphone ownership reached 50%.
Balance appears to key, as the study did show that teens who spent a small amount of time online per week (1-5 hours) were in fact happier than those who spent no time online. Moderation is the remedy, yet again.