New study reveals the scary effects social media is having on teenagers

14 August 2019, 15:30

In the UK, nine out of ten teenagers now use social media
In the UK, nine out of ten teenagers now use social media. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

New research has shown how social media use is disrupting teenager’s sleep and exercise.

Today more than ever, social media plays a huge part in a lot of people’s lives up and down the UK, and across the world.

In fact, in the UK, nine out of ten teenagers now use social media.

The use of social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp is only rising, as younger and younger children begin to get access to the sites.

READ MORE: Mum slams kids club that put her 10-year-old into a taxi alone

A new study has revealed just how much the time spent on these sites is effecting teenager’s sleep and exercise patterns.

The new research is now calling on parents to ban phones from their teenagers after 10:00pm
The new research is now calling on parents to ban phones from their teenagers after 10:00pm. Picture: Getty

The new research is now calling on parents to ban phones from their teenagers after 10:00pm.

The study was carried out on teenagers in year nine, and asked them how often they checked their social media and how long they were on it for.

51 per cent of girls and 43 per cent of boys from the class said they used their social media platforms more than three times a day.

In year 11, these statistics when us to 69 per cent for boys and 75 per cent for girls.

The negative effects this had on girls included disruption to their sleep, cyber-bulling and lack of exercise
The negative effects this had on girls included disruption to their sleep, cyber-bulling and lack of exercise. Picture: Getty

The results of the research found that the boys and girls who checked their social media platforms this often had poorer mental health, and suffered from more psychological distress.

The negative effects this had on girls included disruption to their sleep, cyber-bulling and lack of exercise.

The boys of the study had the same effect, but not to the same extent.

Russell Viner, the lead author of the study and a professor in adolescent health said: “Parents get tied up in knots about how much their kids are on social media each day.

"But they should worry about how much physical activity and sleep they're getting, because social media is displacing other things."