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Social Media Might Be Linked to Mental Health Problems in Teens

Social Media Might be Linked to Mental Health Problems in Teens

New research suggests that social media use might be directly related to mental health issues in teens.

A recent study from British researchers analyzed almost 470 teens who participated in constant social media use.

"The 467 study participants were questioned about their social media habits, during the day and around bedtime. The teens also underwent mental health testing, and were asked how much pressure they felt to be available to respond to incoming social media communications, and how much anxiety they felt when they couldn't do so -- a state of mind known as 'emotional investment,'" according to Health Day.

Because of the high emotional investment found in teens who frequently used social media, it resulted in loss of sleep as well as depression and anxiety.

"Jumping online at night was linked to a 'significantly' higher risk for bad sleep quality, independent of other factors that might interfere with sleep, such as anxiety, depression or low self-esteem, the study found," the article said.

One professor told Health Day it might be similar to a chicken-and-the egg kind of issue.

"'Teens who may be feeling lonely already and are looking for a little boost may then turn to social media, in which case they're bringing their sense of low self-worth with them to the table...That happens. It can definitely go in both directions. In the end, it's a pretty complicated situation,'" he said, according to the article.

Indeed, social media and mobile phone use in the classroom is a controversial subject. While some research has found that using social media in the classroom to collaborate can be beneficial to learning, other research has found that it can also be distracting and therefore interrupt learning. 

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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