Teens disconnected from social media

Posted on October 9, 2017


Social media has revolutionised the way we communicate and is used by most of us every day, but research suggests that some young person are enduring a love/hate relationship with sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

In recent times, various social media platforms have found it difficult to please the younger generation. Facebook has seen teens deleting their accounts because they are no longer engaged by the world’s largest social media platform, and data from picture-messaging app Snapchat has shown that the platform isn’t really growing.

A report from the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) has shown that 63% Britons aged 11 to 18, would not mind if social media sites had not been invented. This equates to two thirds of people in this age bracket.

The HMC asked a total of 5,000 students to take part in their research, with pupils coming from both state and independent schools, and the results shows that 71% of those surveyed said that they regularly take a digital detox in order to get away from social media for a while.

Chris King, the chairperson of HMC, highlighted that feeling drained by social media’s “constant demands” is one of the main reasons why the students who participated in the study quoted decide to take breaks from the platforms.

However, many teenagers feel that they cannot get away from social media and the grip it has on their lives. More than half of British teens (56%) admitted that they feel like they are on the verge of becoming addicted to social media. Furthermore, 52% of them said that these platforms are making them feel much less confident about aspects of their lives, such as how they look and how interesting their lives are. Other studies have shown that adults also feel like this about social media.

Both youngsters and adults may feel like they are addicted to using social media. Technology is so easy for us to access, as we have and use our smartphones so often. This is perhaps one of the most significant contributors to our social media addiction.

The HMC report suggests that the answer would be to take social media in moderation. Samantha Price, chair of HMC’s Wellbeing Working Group, tested this theory with a group of her students at Benenden School and thought that her students would struggle in a three-day ‘Phone Fast’, where they had to give up their devices. However, the results were quite the opposite, with Price saying that after the original shock, they coped well and would be willing to try it again for longer.

The main issue with taking social media in moderation is the goals of these platforms. Sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat are all focused on increasing the engagement of their users and making sure they are spending longer amounts of time on them, thus fuelling the addiction.

Operations Manager at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Operations Manager.
Alan Littler
  • […] that they use social media platforms on a daily basis. This figure is up from 75% in 2015. Another study has suggested that teens are admitting that they are spending too much time on social media, and […]

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