The creative, innovative designs of social media have allowed people to do amazing things. They can reconnect with old friends, share breaking news in seconds, and even find the love of their life. However, the creative innovations of social media have also led to some unfortunate developments.
According to a new study, the need to be available on social media at all times can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders in teenagers.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow surveyed almost 500 teens about their daily activity on social media. They found that the use of social media at night, and the emotional investment put into it can have a negative impact on the quality of the teen’s sleep. Worse, it can also lower self-esteem, and even lead to anxiety if a person isn’t able to immediately respond to posts, and messages.
The study found that teens who went on social media before bed suffered a 13% decrease in sleep quality, which shows that those who log on at night are particularly affected.
What’s most worrying is that this is not the first time a study has found that social media can lead to such problems.
In 2012, non-profit Anxiety UK found that more than half of polled social media users said Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites had changed their lives. Sadly, 51% said that it wasn’t for the better.
Nearly half (45%) said that they feel “worried or uncomfortable” when email and Facebook aren’t available, while 60% even said that they felt the need to turn off their mobile devices or computers to ensure that they wouldn’t go on social media when they shouldn’t.
Technically, this doesn’t mean that social media causes anxiety. It means that being away from it does.
Both studies ultimately mean the same things — taking a break from social media is not a bad idea, and could potentially make a person feel a whole lot better.
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