According to a study by the Cybersmile Foundation, 89% of social media users believe it is bad for their mental health.
The organization recently unveiled Digital Wellbeing 2022, its second biennial study being conducted by the charity to learn more about the impact social media use is having on 16- to 24-year-old users.
The Digital Wellbeing 2022 study asked 1000 participants aged 16-24 across the UK a series of questions about how their use of social media affected them. The research project explored important issues such as mental health, body image, social comparisons, negative news consumption, social media addiction and many more.
Holly H, Cybersmile Official Ambassador, said: I feel so fortunate to be able to be myself and express how I feel and who I am on social media. It’s amazing to see so many different people from all over the world, connect with them and share experiences. Most of the time it’s an amazing experience, but at times it can get tricky online. It’s important to get extra help if you’re ever struggling because your mental health and well-being are extremely important. Talk to your friends or family about how you’re feeling, or contact Cybersmile’s incredible team for help.
The study was conducted to better understand Generation Z‘s relationship with social media and how it affects the way they think about their bodies, life and personal well-being. The learnings from Digital Wellbeing 2022 will be used to ensure Cybersmile continues to provide the most useful and effective counseling, education and support services possible.
Dan Raisbeck, co-founder of The Cybersmile Foundation Foundation said: Our Digital Wellbeing 2022 report offers significant new insights into how the impact of social media use is affecting the daily lives of an entire generation. With evolving technology and longer dwell times on platforms, Gen Z users are being impacted to a degree beyond anything we have previously discovered. discovered to this day. These findings provide Cybersmile with valuable insights into the digital wellbeing of 16-24 year olds in the UK and will play a key role in tailoring our support resources, developing new educational materials and creating effective awareness campaigns.
Cybersmiles‘ commitment to learning more about the relationship between Gen Z and social media was supported by Dr. Advisory Board member Barbara Mariposa, a physician with a background in psychiatry and public health whose books include The Mindfulness Playbook, The Kindness Habit and Leading with Presence.
Doctor Barbara Mariposa, member of the Cybersmile Advisory Panel for Wellness & Equity, said: “The results of Digital Wellbeing 2022 are clear. They underline the crucial importance of early education about the safe and respectful use of social media. The edited versions of reality on social media offer perfect bodies and perfect worlds, which nearly nine in 10 study participants reported had a negative impact on how they feel about themselves, their bodies, and their lives. Young people are rightly concerned about addiction and increased anxiety, the time taken away from learning and the detrimental impact of that time on the fundamentals of good self-care, such as exercise and nutrition. The Cybersmiles Digital Wellbeing 2022 report highlights the very real damage that an imbalanced use of social media platforms can do.
The study was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Cybersmile between May 16th and 24th in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The regional data provides interesting insights and comparisons for major cities across the UK including Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Southampton.
Amazing Arabella, Gen Z influencer said: It can sometimes be difficult for us to understand the difference between the real world and the digital world as we can often get immersed in a pixelated reality. The way we take care of our own well-being, learn to use the internet productively and communicate about it is crucial.
Education should be introduced at an early age to encourage balance and knowledge as well as to look out for red flags and know what to do! I encourage my followers to be conscious of their personal wellbeing when using social media and that my young and parent followers’ practice this through family activities that can be undertaken in a fun and safe way to encourage meaningful social and digital interactions and at the same time build trust. Your digital wellbeing is so important.
Key findings from Digital Wellbeing 2022 include:
46% of respondents said social media drives them to want to permanently change a part of their body through surgery.
87% of respondents said social media content puts pressure on them to be perfect.
85% of respondents said social media has a negative impact on how they feel about their own bodies.
89% of respondents said that social media has a negative impact on their mental health and that they are dissatisfied with their life when comparing it to others on social media.
86% of respondents said using social media makes them anxious.
32% of respondents said they feel addicted to bad news online They don’t feel safe sharing their opinions and views online.
44% of respondents said they are concerned about being addicted to social media.
52% of respondents said they feel better when they spend less time on social media.
51% of respondents said their sleep is negatively impacted by the time they spend online.
32% of respondents said their diet is negatively impacted by the amount of time they spend online.
32% of respondents said their workouts are negatively impacted by the time they spend online. 40% of respondents said their study increased by the time they were online.
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