According to a sociologist from Dublin’s Trinity College, Teens who avoid social media altogether are more likely to experience negative health outcomes, just like those kids who go overboard with it!
“The reality is that digital engagement and social media are a natural part, these days, of young people’s lives and experiences,” co-author and Trinity sociology professor Richard Layte told The Post of his findings.
The researchers examined how time spent surfing the web correlated with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and isolation when the participants were ages 9, 13 and 17 to 18 years old.
Turns out the kids who were most well-adjusted (i.e., the least likely to have “adverse psychiatric symptoms”) at ages 17 to 18 spent one to two hours online on weekdays — and two to three hours on weekends.
This goes against a narrative out there that social media is a negative thing in young people’s lives. It follows a path we see with all new technology. When the telephone was first invented, that was seen to be the end of civilization. TV [at its origin] experienced a very similar thing.
The reality is, that social media can be a very beneficial conduit through which to have social participation and social contact. But, like many things, you have to do that in moderation. Too little can be damaging, but too much definitely seems to carry risks.
For what it’s worth, most teens spend too much time on social media these days…
A 2015 study by Common Sense Media found that kids ages 13 to 18 on average spent nine hours indulging in entertainment media per day.