Young people and increasing social media pressure
According to study, around a quarter of 18-24-year-olds admit that they experience ‘social media pressures’ on a daily basis. Such pressures include not being able to respond to notifications in good time and feeling concerned about how their social media output is being viewed by friends, family and colleagues.
The survey, part of a wider piece of research into how social media affects people, also discovered that only around 10% of those over the age of 55 say they feel pressure to respond on social media, which while being a much smaller number when compared to the younger generations, is still an issue of concern.
Part of modern life? – The report suggests that social media has set unrealistic expectations when it comes to being ‘switched on’ all of the time. Traditionally, communications were either done in person, or via written correspondence, it was far easier to take time off from talking to people because, quite simply, they couldn’t get in touch whenever it was convenient for them.
Given that we are rarely without our mobile phones, tablets or laptops, it has never been easier for people to send a message when they wish to communicate with us, complete with the expectation that they will receive an immediate response.
Unnecessary stress – There has also been extensive research into stress-related incidents amongst young people, and the findings are somewhat worrying. According to a report released by Open Access Government, 9 in 10 students have admitted that they experience stress frequently, while around 8 in 10 say they often feel anxious.
And, what’s even more of a concern, is that U.K. students are the most unhappy in the world. A recent report by YouthNet concluded that feelings of anxiety and depression are now common in high school, and much of this stems from the idea that social media is giving young people unrealistic expectations about what they should be doing with their lives, and how they should be responding to social challenges.
Gone are the days when a student’s progress only happened when you walked past their school desk, now updates and bragging can be viewed at all times on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What can be done? – Scotland seems to be leading the way when it comes to tackling social media pressures. As part of an ongoing Scottish Government strategy to create a better infrastructure around mental health support focused on social media.
In the wake of a Scottish Government study, funding of around £90,000 is set to be provided to focus on Scotland-specific issue with regard to the use of social media, and how it is causing extensive mental health concerns around the country.