According to a recent research, use of social media have affected the mental health of young girls and boys. Researchers at the University of Essex and UCL found a connection between increased time spent on social media in early teen and reduced well-being in later adolescence (age 10-15). The most important thing is that scientists have found this trend only in young girls.
Author Cara Booker said, “Our findings suggest that it is important to monitor early interactions with social media, particularly in girls, as this could have an impact on wellbeing later in adolescence and perhaps throughout adulthood.”
Girls used social media more than boys
- At age 13, about a half of girls were interacting on social media for more than 1 hour per day, compared to just one-third of boys.
- At age 15, 59 percent girls used social media while 46% of boys used it when it comes to one or more hours per day.
- Overall happiness scores dropped nearly three points from 36.9 to 33.3 in girls and two points from 36.02 to 34.55 in boys, indicating that girls experienced more negative aspects of wellbeing.
Booker further added: “Since we did not observe an association between social media use and wellbeing among boys, other factors, such as the amount of time spent gaming, might be associated with the boys’ observed decline in well-being.”