Gordon Cameron and James Lloyd
This report explores how the growth of social networking sites and new screen-based technologies has affected teenagers’ well being. Based on a survey of around 5,000 young people aged 10-15, it found significant negative associations between increased screen-based media exposure, social-networking site use and levels of happiness.
Teenagers who played computer games for one to three hours per day were 41% less likely to be happy than those who played for less than one hour, rising to 58% for those who played for more than four hours. Those who used social-networking sites for more than four hours a day were at least twice as likely to experience socio-emotional difficulties.
The authors suggest the establishment of national guidelines for screen-based media and social-networking site usage among young people, and a concerted attempt to empower young people through public health and education campaigns around how social media usage may affect their well being.
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