89% of social media users, according to a study by The Cybersmile Foundation, believe that it is bad for their mental health.The nonprofit recently launched Digital Wellbeing 2022, the second of its two-yearly studies on the effects of social media use on users between the ages of 16 and 24.
In the UK, 1000 participants between the ages of 16 and 24 who participated in the Digital Wellbeing 2022 project were asked a number of questions on how their usage of social media affected them. The research project examined a number of significant issues, including mental health, body image, social comparisons, the consumption of bad news, addiction to social media, and many others.
“I feel so happy that I can be myself and communicate how I feel and who I am on social media,” said Holly H, an official Cybersmile ambassador. It’s incredible to be able to interact with so many different people from all over the world and share experiences with them. Online gaming can occasionally be challenging, but for the most part it is a fantastic experience. If you ever find yourself having trouble, it’s crucial to seek further support since your mental health and welfare are very vital. Discuss your feelings with your family and friends, or ask the amazing staff at Cybersmile for assistance.
In order to comprehend Gen Z’s relationship with social media and how it influences how they feel about their bodies, lifestyles, and personal welfare, a study was conducted. Cybersmile will make use of the research from Digital Wellbeing 2022 to continue offering the most practical and efficient consultation, instruction, and support services.
“Our Digital Wellbeing 2022 report gives substantial new insights into how social media use is affecting the daily lives of an entire generation,” stated Dan Raisbeck, co-founder of The Cybersmile Foundation. The impact on Gen Z users is more than we had previously realized due to changing technologies and longer platform retention times. These results give Cybersmile important new information about the digital wellness of 16 to 24 year olds in the United Kingdom, and they will be crucial in guiding the development of new educational tools, awareness campaigns, and support materials.
Dr. Barbara Mariposa, a member of the advisory panel and a medical professional with training in psychiatry and public health, has endorsed Cybersmile’s commitment to learning more about the interaction between Gen Z and social media. Her books include The Mindfulness Playbook, The Kindness Habit, and Leading with Presence.
The results of Digital Wellbeing 2022 are startling, according to Dr. Barbara Mariposa, member of the Wellness & Equity section of the Cybersmile Advisory Panel. They emphasize how crucial it is for children to have early instruction in how to use social media in a courteous and safe manner. Nearly 90% of survey participants said that social media’s edited versions of reality, which present beautiful bodies and perfect surroundings, had a detrimental effect on how they felt about themselves, their bodies, and their lives. Addiction, anxiety, the amount of time it takes away from studying, and the harm it does to the fundamentals of good self-care, including exercise and diet, are all valid concerns for young people. The Digital Wellbeing 2022 research from Cybersmile emphasizes the very real harm that excessive use of social media platforms may cause.
Between May 16 and May 24, the study was carried out across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland by Censuswide on behalf of Cybersmile. For key British cities including Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield, and Southampton, the regional data presents intriguing comparisons and observations.
Amazing Arabella, a Gen Z influencer, said: “We sometimes struggle to distinguish between the physical and digital worlds since we frequently lose ourselves in a pixelated reality. The way we take care of our own wellbeing, understand how to utilize the internet effectively, and use it for communication is crucial. Early education is important to promote balance, understanding, and the ability to spot warning signs and know what to do! When using social media, I urge my followers to be mindful of their personal wellbeing. I also suggest that my young and parent followers put this advice into practice by participating in family activities that are enjoyable and safe. This promotes trust-building and meaningful social and digital interactions. Your online safety is very important.
Principal conclusions of Digital Wellbeing 2022 include:
- According to 46% of respondents, social media influences their desire to have surgery to permanently alter a body component.
- According to 87% of respondents, social media content makes them feel under pressure to be flawless.
- 85% of those surveyed said that social media had a negative impact on how they feel about their own bodies.
- According to 89% of respondents, social media has a detrimental impact on people’s mental health.
- According to 77% of respondents, social media has a bad effect on their physical health.
- According to 89% of respondents, comparing their lives to those of others on social media leaves them feeling dissatisfied.
- According to 86% of respondents, using social media makes them anxious.
- Online bad news has become an addiction for 32% of respondents.
- According to 33% of respondents, they don’t feel secure sharing their thoughts and opinions online.
- Respondents expressed concern about having a social media addiction in 44% of cases.
- 52% of respondents said that using social media less makes them feel better.
- 51% of respondents said that their online time had a detrimental impact on their ability to sleep.
- According to 32% of respondents, how much time people spend online has a detrimental impact on their nutrition.
- According to 32% of respondents, how much time people spend online has a detrimental impact on their exercise.
- 40% of respondents said that their time spent online has a negative impact on their study.