Surveys show that more than half of US teens use social media nearly five hours a day

A new one Gallup survey found that more than half of teens in the US spend an average of 4.8 hours on social media each day. Responses came from 1,591 people aged 13-19, and the survey results show that as teens get older, they stay on social networks even longer.

Gallup also surveys children’s parents, asking about their parenting styles, parent-child relationships, and youth activities, among other things. The results looked at data from 6,643 parents and found that social media use was most popular among girls, noting that 55% spent an average of 5.3 hours online. Meanwhile, 48% of teenage boys are said to spend 4.4 hours on social media, with usage peaking for both genders at 17 years old.

The poll looked at social media usage on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, FacebookX was formerly known as Twitter and WhatsApp. Gallup found that among all platforms, teens spend the least amount of time on WhatsApp, X and Facebook in favor of YouTube (1.9 hours), TikTok (1.5 hours) and Instagram (0.9 hours). hour).

Gallup question Whether social network addiction is a contributing factor to the number of hours teens spend online each day said, Studies have shown how tech companies entice users to spend more time on apps through their design . The report refers to a 2022 article published in the American Economic Review that said 31% of young people are influenced by the way social media companies design their platforms, which is said to create accessibility problems. self-control and excessive screen time.

Dr. Nancy Deangelis, director of behavioral health at Jefferson health said in an article for the health system. Shares, likes, and comments on these platforms activate the brain’s reward center, leading to a high similar to the one people feel when gambling or using drugs.

Teens are more susceptible to these influences because they access social media during the second period of major brain development, Deangelis said.

Overuse of social media can actually rewire a child or teen’s brain to constantly seek immediate gratification, DeAngelis said, leading to obsessive, compulsive and destructive behaviors. addiction.

The addictive nature of Social media can worsen mental health disordersincluding symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD, body dysmorphia and others, she warns.

The rehabilitation centersowned by Recovery Worldwide, identifies young adults who abuse social media as suffering from social media addiction, saying they develop this condition if they spend a lot of time planning their social media use or thinking about it. online platforms, use it to forget about their problems, and if they find it has a negative impact on their work or studies.

The center said 27% of teens with mental health problems were found to spend three hours or more on social media, and reported that teens who overused social media were found to have similar skills. Social cooperation is seriously reduced.

This early year, The United States Surgeon General and the American Psychological Association offer health advice regarding the potential harmful effects of social media on young people, noted its impact on brain development but said more research was needed to see the overall impact of social media on young people. youth. However, there is growing evidence that social media use is linked to harm to the mental health of young people, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said at US Department of Health and Human Services. New information posted in the May.

Children are exposed to harmful content on social media, he said, from violent and sexual content to bullying and harassment. And for too many children, social media use is affecting their sleep and precious time with family and friends. We are in the midst of a national youth mental health crisis, and I am concerned that social media is an important driver of that crisis that we must urgently address.

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