Connection, Creativity and Drama: Teen Life on Social Media in 2022

Society has long fretted about technology’s impact on youth. But unlike radio and television, the hyperconnected nature of social media has led to new anxieties, including worries that these platforms may be negatively impacting teenagers’ mental health. 카지노사이트 Just this year, the White House announced plans to combat potential harms teens may face when using social media.

Despite these concerns, teens themselves paint a more nuanced picture of adolescent life on social media. It is one in which majorities credit these platforms with deepening connections and providing a support network when they need it, while smaller – though notable – shares acknowledge the drama and pressures that can come along with using social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 conducted April 14 to May 4, 2022.1

Eight-in-ten teens say that what they see on social media makes them feel more connected to what’s going on in their friends’ lives, while 71% say it makes them feel like they have a place where they can show their creative side. And 67% say these platforms make them feel as if they have people who can support them through tough times. A smaller share – though still a majority – say the same for feeling more accepted. These positive sentiments are expressed by teens across demographic groups.

When asked about the overall impact of social media on them personally, more teens say its effect has been mostly positive (32%) than say it has been mostly negative (9%). The largest share describes its impact in neutral terms: 59% believe social media has had neither a positive nor a negative effect on them. For teens who view social media’s effect on them as mostly positive, many describe maintaining friendships, building connections, or accessing information as main reasons they feel this way, with one teen saying:

“It connects me with the world, provides an outlet to learn things I otherwise wouldn’t have access to, and allows me to discover and explore interests.” – Teen girl

While these youth describe the benefits they get from social media, this positivity is not unanimous. Indeed, 38% of teens say they feel overwhelmed by all the drama they see on social media, while about three-in-ten say these platforms have made them feel like their friends are leaving them out of things (31%) or have felt pressure to post content that will get lots of likes or comments (29%). Another 23% say these platforms make them feel worse about their own life.

Teen girls report encountering some of these pressures at higher rates. Some 45% of girls say they feel overwhelmed because of all the drama on social media, compared with 32% of boys. Girls are also more likely than boys to say social media has made them feel like their friends are leaving them out of things (37% vs. 24%) or worse about their own lives (28% vs. 18%).

When asked how often they decide not to post on social media out of fear of it being using against them, older teen girls stand out. For example, half of 15- to 17-year-old girls say they often or sometimes decide not to post something on social media because they worry others might use it to embarrass them, compared with smaller shares of younger girls or boys.

These are some of the key findings from a Pew Research Center online survey of 1,316 U.S. teens conducted from April 14 to May 4, 2022.

Teens are more likely to view social media as having a negative effect on others than themselves

The strong presence of social media in many teenagers’ lives begs the question: What impact, if any, are these sites having on today’s youth?

Even as teens tend to view the impact of social media on their own lives in more positive than negative terms, they are more critical of its influence on their peers. While 9% of teens think social media has had a mostly negative effect on them personally, that share rises to 32% when the same question is framed about people their age.

There are also gaps when looking at the positive side of these platforms. Some 32% of teens say social media has had a positive effect on them personally, compared with a smaller share (24%) who say the same about these platforms’ impact on teens more broadly.

Still, regardless of whether teens are assessing social media’s impact on themselves or others, the most common way they describe its effect is as neither positive nor negative.바카라사이트

Teens reflect on parents’ concerns and assessments of teen life on social media

Parents are often on the front lines in navigating challenges their children may face when using social media. While previous Center surveys reflect parents’ anxieties about social media, only a minority of teens in this survey describe their parents as being highly concerned about their use of these sites.

Some 22% believe their parents are extremely or very worried about them using social media, while another 27% say their parents are somewhat worried. However, many teens – 41% – say their parents are worried only a little or not at all. And 9% say they aren’t sure about the level of concern their parents have over their social media use. These youth also weighed in on whether parents overall – not just their own – have an accurate picture of what it’s like to be a teenager on social media. Some 39% say teens’ experiences are better than parents think, while 27% say things on social media are worse for teens than parents think. Still, one-third believe parents’ assessments are about right.

Teens who have a more positive outlook about social media are more likely to say these platforms benefit them

Teens who see social media as having a mostly positive effect on people their age are more likely than teens who see mostly negative effects to say teens’ experiences on social media are better than parents think. They are also more likely to say they have had positive experiences while personally using these platforms.

Whether teens see social media’s effects as positive or negative relates to their perspective on whether parents’ views stack up to reality. About six-in-ten teens who say that social media has had a mostly positive effect on people their age say teens’ experiences on social media are better than parents think, while a plurality of teens who say social media has been mostly negative for people their age say teens’ experiences on social media are worse than parents think.

Teens who have a more positive view of social media’s effect on their peers report more positive personal experiences with these platforms. More than half (54%) of teens who see social media as having a mostly positive effect on people their age say that what they see on social media makes them feel a lot more connected to what’s going on in their friends’ lives. About four-in-ten say they feel a lot like they have a place where they can show their creative side. Some 35% of teens who see the effect as mostly positive say social media makes them feel a lot like they have people who can support them through tough times, and 28% say it makes them feel a lot more accepted. By comparison, much smaller shares – about or quarter or fewer – of teens who see social media as having a negative effect say what they see on social media makes them feel each of these positive experiences a lot. 온라인카지

While teens who have a positive outlook on the impact of social media are more likely to report personally benefiting from these sites, they tend to say they’ve experienced the more negative side in similar proportions as those who rate these sites’ effect on teens negatively. There is one exception: 12% of teens who believe social media has a mostly negative effect on teens say they feel overwhelmed by all of the drama on these platforms a lot, compared with 6% of those who see its impact as mostly positive.

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