Huffington Post asks “are we raising a generation of kids that are not going to be able to get a quality night’s sleep?”
A news report by Alexis Sobel Fitt’s on the 14th of September, 2015 on Huffington Post looks at just that. Teenagers are becoming more reliant on technology and social media portals, and their health might be suffering because of it:
“A survey of teenagers found that those with the most emotional investment in their Facebook and Twitter profiles were more likely to sleep poorly and suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety and depression, according to the results of a survey presented Friday at a British Psychological Society conference.”
The research surveyed almost 500 teenagers, and asked them about their social media habits and how it affected them emotionally. The researchers also wanted to know about mental health history such as self esteem, depression and anxiety. Teenagers who spent more time on social media also self-reported poorer mental health, as well as issues with sleep:
“Not surprisingly, the teens who reported being most emotionally invested in social media and most likely to use social media at night were also more likely to report sleeping poorly. Investment in social media was also linked with lower self-esteem and higher levels of anxiety and depression.”
This new research builds on previous studies that have examined how health can be impacted by technology, and not just in teens:
“Indeed, previous studies have showed that logging lots of hours on screens, particularly around bedtime, can hurt your ability to get a good night’s sleep… Previous studies have linked heavy social media use to depression and other mental health issues, although other reports suggest that, overall, the Internet causes us to feel happier and more connected to people.”
Researchers have emphasised that it is important to remember that some use of social media is not harmful. Facebook and other sites such as Twitter can be a benefit for teenagers when developing new relationships.