PARIS: Despite the harmful effects of social networks, young people are still addicted to these platforms.
While there’s no shortage of studies calling out their negative aspects, Pew Research* and Ipsos conducted a survey of more than 1,000 Americans, age 13 to 17, to understand their relationship with social networks.
For eight out of 10 teenagers, social networks make them feel more involved in their friends’ lives.
Meanwhile, 71% of these young users also appreciate the possibility of expressing their creative side thanks to these platforms. Among other positive feelings, 67% of young teens find that social platforms offer a support network when they need it.
The survey also highlights that 77% of 13-to-17-year-olds say they do not feel bad about their lives after seeing content on social networks. Plus, 71% do not feel the pressure to get lots of “likes” when posting their content.
In general, 32% of the teenagers surveyed said that the impact of social networks has been more positive for them, compared to 9% who said it has been more negative.
But 59% took a more neutral stance, stating that these platforms had neither a positive nor a negative effect on them, personally. But this trend reverses when judging the impact of social networks on young people in general.
In fact, 32% of American teens surveyed believe that social media has a mostly negative effect on people in their age group, compared to 24% who feel its impact is mostly positive. Again, neutrality prevails, with 45% of respondents believing its impact is neither positive nor negative.
Gender differences are apparent. Girls are more affected by the pressure of getting “likes,” at 32% versus 27% for boys, and feel more overwhelmed by online drama, at 45% versus 32%. Plus, 28% of girls say they feel worse about their lives after viewing online content, compared to 18% of boys.