Researches from Oxford Internet Institution used an eight-year survey of UK households to study how much time teenagers spend on social media and its relation with life satisfaction ratings. This study included both aspects: whether adolescents who report more on social media have a lower life satisfaction and vice-versa.The research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), used improved data and statistical approaches and found most links between social media usage and life satisfaction trivial.
However, according to the researchers, there were some bidirectional effects: lowered life satisfaction led to increased social media use and vice verse. These effects we more consistent for females than males, but again, these were modest trends. The researchers emphasized on the fact that this was an integral part of understanding the effects of social media.
“Given the technological advancement in recent years, the question of how our increasing use of technology to interact with each other affects our well being has become important,” said Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the OII,”With most of the current debate based on lackluster evidence, this study represents an important step towards mapping the effects of technology on adolescent well-being.”