“The complexity of social media’s role in young people’s lives may frustrate those looking for easy answers or simplistic solutions. But it is a reality that this survey has made abundantly clear.” Read the new survey VJR Consulting did for Common Sense Media, tracking trends in teen social media use from 2012 to 2018. The survey includes data about how often US teens use social media; specific actions they take (active vs. passive use); when they do or don’t take breaks from social media; how often they encounter racist and sexist content online; and whether social media makes them feel better or worse about themselves. The survey explores the relationship of social media use with teens’ social and emotional well-being, including a special focus on more vulnerable teens.
This nationally representative probability survey of 14- to 22-year-olds sheds important new light on the relationship between social media use and adolescent depression. The survey reveals that teens and young adults are making extensive use of the internet, social media, and mobile apps to help address their depression and anxiety. In addition, young people suffering from depression or anxiety have diverse responses to social media – for some, it is an important lifeline to support and human connection, while for others it just reinforces negative emotions. Many young people exhibit a high degree of 'agency' about how they use social media - consciously curating their feeds for inspiration and support, or staying off social media entirely during tough times.