Social media is making life harder for young people, study finds

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We are all aware of the negative impact social media can have on our mood. Scrolling through Instagram for a mere ten minutes can knock our confidence and leave us feeling like our social lives are not up to scratch. We instantly compare ourselves to the people we follow, despite the fact that people only share their best moments on social media.

A new study has discovered the lasting impact social media can have on young people in Ireland and the findings are a cause for concern.

One in three young people revealed the pressure of social media makes life harder for them.

The study, which was conducted by Young Social Innovators and Amarach Research Index, found that despite its perks, social media is putting far too much pressure on young people.

Rachel Collier, Young Social Innovators chief executive said: “There has been a lot of discussion in the media in recent weeks about keeping young people occupied during the summer months and, in particular, how to get them away from screens.

“From this research, we can see how strongly embedded smartphones are in the day-to-day lives of Generation Z. For all of us involved in guiding young people from teens to adulthood, the issue of smartphone usage is something that we need to be aware of,” she added.

Social media does have many positives. It helps friends stay in contact even if they’re on opposite sides of the planet, it helps people share their content and gives people a place to express their views, but we need to remember that balance is key.

“We need to focus on getting the balance right between smartphone usage and real-life experiences, without trying to roll-back on something that is firmly part of contemporary youth culture,” said Rachel Collier.

93 percent of people involved in the study said life is harder for them than it was for their parents, mainly because of social media.

Social media makes young people compare every aspect of their lives to their peers’. They scrutinise everything from their appearance to their grades, and that pressure can be extremely damaging.

There are many wonderful things about social media. We certainly couldn’t go without it, but Rachel Collier is right, we need to find the right balance between life on Instagram and life in the real world.

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