Hi, I’m Carin Rockind. Welcome to PPN Bites where we give you 60-second helpings of the Positive Psychology News you need to know. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, anything having to do with these phones, you may love it, you may hate it; the question is: What is it doing to our well-being, to our happiness? A 2016 study of more than 460 adolescents in Scotland found that increased usage, both amount of time of social media, as well as how engaged a teen was in social media before bedtime, was actually correlated with higher anxiety, depression, lower self-esteem, and worse sleep.
Probably not a surprise since social media has been found to be linked with so much social comparison. A more recent study, in 2018, found similar results. Actually looking at more than a million teens and found whereas self-esteem had been increasing in adolescents up until 2012, when more than 50% of households, at least here in the United States, had phones, had smartphones, adolescent self-esteem started to decline after 2012. It’s now really well understood that social media use, all the gaming, all the video, the more use, the more unhappy, the less life satisfaction that our teens have.
So, what can we do about it? Well, this is actually something that we as a Positive Psychology, as a well-being community, need to come together and do together. Certainly there are things we can do by encouraging our teens and ourselves to step away from the phones, to be more engaged to other activities outside, with each other, to focus on interpersonal relationships. And perhaps, we can all look what are the video games that increase well-being? What are the apps that increase well-being? We can make it a part of well-being life. It’s something that we need to figure out and we need to do together. But for now, see what you can do about limiting your own social media use, limiting your own screen time, and of course, doing that with your family.
We hope that this helps you to live a happier, healthier, better life, for you and everybody you love. Bye for now.
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Woods, H. C., & Scott, H. (2016) #Sleepyteens: social media use in adolescence is associated with poor sleep quality, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Journal of Adolescence, 51, 41-49. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.05.008
Twenge, J. M., Martin, G. N., & Campbell, W. K. (2018). Decreases in psychological well-being among American adolescents after 2012 and links to screen time during the rise of Smartphone technology. Emotion, 18(6), 765-780. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000403