New research from the University of Glasgow has suggested that teenagers feel they need to be available on social networking sites 24/7 and it’s resulting in depression, anxiety and sleep deprivation.
Subjects aged between 11 and 17 were questioned about their overall (but specifically night-time) social media use. Following this, their sleep quality, self-esteem and emotional investment into these sites were also measured and then analysed.
The results revealed that teens are feeling the pressure to be available online all the time and it’s making them feel tired, down in the dumps and anxious as they struggle to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings on the Internet. It was also found that those who logged on at night were particularly affected.
One of the researchers of the study, Doctor Heather Woods explained that during adolescence, people are particularly vulnerable to depression and anxiety and sleep deprivation will be a huge contributor to this. She commented:
“Evidence is increasingly supporting a link between social media use and wellbeing - particularly during adolescence - but the causes of this are still unclear.”
In a separate study conducted by the National Citizen Service (NCS), it was found that 88% of 12-18 year-olds have experienced stress over the past 12 months with one of the top reasons being cited as trying to look good on social media. In two-thirds of the cases, this led to symptoms of stress-related illnesses including insomnia, depression and eating disorders.
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering from depression, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programme page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.