According to a survey by The Cybersmile Foundation, 89% of social media users believe that it is harming their mental health.
The organization recently unveiled Digital Wellbeing 2022 – the second bi-annual study conducted by the charity to learn about the impact of social media use on users between the ages of 16 and 24.
The Digital Wellbeing 2022 survey asked 1,000 participants aged 16-24 across the UK a series of questions about how their use of social media affected them. As part of the research project, important topics like mental health, body image, social comparison, negative news consumption, social media addiction and many more were explored.
Holly H, the official cybersmile ambassador, said: “I feel very lucky to have been able to be myself and to express how I feel and who I am on social media. It’s amazing to see so many different people from around the world, to connect with them and to share experiences. Most of the time it’s an incredible experience, but now and then it can be tough online. If you ever find yourself struggling, it is important to get some extra help because your mental health and well-being are very important. Talk to your friends or family about how you feel, or contact the incredible Cybersmile team for help. ”
The study was conducted to better understand General Z’s relationship with social media and how it affects his feelings about his body, life and personal well-being. The results of Digital Wellbeing 2022 will be used to ensure that CyberSmile continues to provide the most useful and effective advice, education and support services possible.
Dan Reisbeck, co-founder of The Cybersmile Foundation, said: “Our Digital Wellbeing 2022 report provides significant new insights into how social media use is affecting the daily lives of an entire generation. With increasing technology and increasing platform retention times – Gen Z users are being affected a bit beyond what we’ve discovered before. These results provide valuable insights to Cybersmile on the digital well-being of 16 to 24 year olds in the UK and will play a key role in helping us harness our support resources, create new educational materials and create effective awareness campaigns. “
To learn more about the relationship between General Z and social media, CyberSmile is backed by Dr. Barbara Mariposa, a member of the advisory panel – a medical doctor with a background in psychiatry and public health, whose books include The Mindfulness Playbook, The Kindness.
Dr. Barbara Mariposa, a member of the Cybersmill Advisory Panel on Wellness and Equity, said: “The results of Digital Wellbeing 2022 are stark. They underline the vital importance of education from an early age in the safe and respectful use of social media. Edited social media versions of reality offer the perfect body and the perfect world, with nine out of 10 participants in the survey reporting a negative impact on how they feel about themselves, their bodies and their lives. Young people are rightly concerned about the detrimental effects of these periods on addiction and increased anxiety, the amount of time taken from study, and the basics of good self-care, such as exercise and nutrition. CyberSmile’s Digital Wellbeing 2022 report highlights the potential damage that unbalanced use of social media platforms can cause.
The study was conducted by CensusWide on behalf of CyberSmile between 16 May and 24 May across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Regional data covers major attractions in the United Kingdom, including Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Southampton.
The amazing Arebela, General Z. Influencer, says: “It can be difficult for us to understand the difference between the real world and the digital world, because we are often immersed in a pixelated reality. We learn how to look after our own well-being, how to use the Internet productively, and how to communicate through it. Education should be introduced at an early age to encourage balance and knowledge as well as to look for red flags and learn what to do! I encourage my followers to be aware of their personal well-being when using social media, and my young and parental followers practice it through family activities that can be done in a fun and safe way – encouraging meaningful social and digital interactions while building trust. Your digital well-being is very important. “
The key findings of Digital Wellbeing 2022 include:
46% of respondents indicated that social media seeks to permanently change a part of their body through their surgery.
87% of respondents indicated that social media content makes them feel pressured to be perfect.
85% of respondents indicated that social media negatively affects their feelings about their own bodies.
89% of respondents indicated that social media negatively affects their mental health.
77% of respondents indicated that social media negatively affects their physical health.
89% of respondents indicated that they feel dissatisfied with their lives when compared to others on social media.
86% of respondents indicated that their use of social media made them feel anxious.
32% of respondents indicated that they felt addicted to bad news online.
33% of respondents indicated that they do not feel safe sharing their opinions and opinions online.
44% of respondents indicated that they are concerned that they are addicted to social media.
52% of respondents indicated that they feel better when they spend less time on social media.
51% of respondents indicated that their sleep is negatively affected by the amount of time they spend online.
32% of respondents indicated that their diet is negatively affected by the amount of time they spend online.
32% of respondents indicated that their exercise was negatively affected by the time they spent online.
40% of respondents indicated that their study was negatively affected by the time they spent online.
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