Just One Hour a Day on Social Media May Make Young Teens Miserable

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Just One Hour a Day on Social Media May Make Young Teens Miserable

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on NBC News.

Social media sites help us stay connected, but for younger teens, the cost of online connectivity can be steep.

A recent report, "Social Media Use and Children's Wellbeing," published by IZA Institute of Labor Economics, found that kids between 10 and 15 who spend as little as one hour a day chatting on social networks are overall less content.

"Spending one hour a day chatting on social networks reduces the probability of being completely satisfied with life overall by approximately 14 percentage points," the study's authors wrote in the paper's conclusion.

The research, which was conducted from 2010 through 2014 and surveyed British households, was partially an effort to "contribute to wider debates about the socioeconomic consequences of the internet and digital technologies."

Issues of cyberbullying, an increase in social comparisons, and a decrease in real-life, face-to-face activities were cited in the study as theories explaining "why extensive social media use may have a negative effect on children's well-being."

While this is a British study that researched solely British families, American families can certainly relate to the primary and at times harmful role social media may play in their teens' lives.

"The average teen spends nine hours per day using electronic devices, much of which is social media," said Tom Kersting, a psychotherapist, school counselor, and the author of Disconnected: How To Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids. "It has become more than just a part of life; it's now a way of life."

Source: NBC News