Number of teens who ‘don’t enjoy life’ has doubled with social media

Rates of teen depression and anxiety have surged since the popularisation of smartphones and social media, with nearly half of teens now agreeing with negative self-assessment statements compared to a decade ago. Psychologist Dr Jean Twenge identifies social media and screen time as the primary causes of this trend, exacerbating girls’ tendencies to compare themselves and vie for social status in a way that is negatively impacting their mental health. However, Twenge suggests more radical solutions are needed, such as raising the minimum age for social media use to 16, to address what she refers to as “a group level problem”.

news flash