London - Sleep and seeing friends may have a bigger effect on teenage girls’ mental wellbeing than social media, a report suggests.
A study of 7 000 youngsters has found, when other factors are taken into account, social media use and wellbeing are not as strongly linked as previously thought.
Campaigners have long said youngsters need to spend less time on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as it is making them depressed. However, the British government’s report finds the sites are not causing psychological trauma.
Instead, it is the side-effects of social media use, such as online bullying, failure to see friends in real life and lack of sleep which cause problems.
The findings suggest heavy use of social media may not prove too unhealthy, if only the other problems could be eradicated.