Research shows heavy social media use was linked to negative wellbeing and self-esteem, regardless of a young person’s mental state, with more girls experiencing feelings of depression and hopelessness.
Dr. Amy Orben, research fellow at the UK’s University of Cambridge, said of the research, “Those who feel worse may turn to social media for solace or community. It’s not a vacuum, it works both ways.”
The research used data from 5,000 young people in England from the Millennium Cohort Study. Focus groups were carried out in November to examine the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on these ages.
Family income, exercise and poor maternal health also contributed to young people’s mental state, the study found. But regular exercise had a positive impact on both genders.
It added, “Participation in activities and sports will have fallen considerably due to school closures and lockdown, likely adversely affecting mental health and wellbeing.”