(Quartz) Researchers have found that using social media makes kids less happy in almost every way
Written By Cassie Werber December 20, 2016
Parents are well aware that the internet has opened up new realms both of discovery and danger. Now, new research from the UK has found that use of social media like Facebook reduces children’s satisfaction about every aspect of their lives except friendship.
Economists at the University of Sheffield used data (pdf) from household surveys conducted in the UK between 2010 and 2014, which included responses from almost 4,000 children aged 10-15. The survey asked kids whether they were members of social networks and, if so, how many hours they spent “chatting or interacting with friends” on those sites on a normal school day. The researchers controlled for a wide range of variables. 1
The children and teens were also asked to rate how happy they felt in a number of areas: school work; appearance; family; friends; school attended; and life as a whole.
The study found that the more time kids spent chatting on social networks, the less positive they felt about school work and which school they attended, their appearance, and their family. They were also less happy with life overall.
Girls were more likely than boys to be negatively affected by social media time, especially in two areas: their attitude to the school they attended, and their feelings about how they looked.