Too little social media can be bad for teenage mental health, a new study shows 1 year ago

Too little social media can be bad for teenage mental health, a new study shows

Young women were found to have poorer relationships with their peers if they didn't use social media.

How often do you check social media?


One hour, two hours a day? Maybe you're constantly on it.

While too much of anything is a bad thing, a recent study from Trinity College Dublin has shown that too little social media usage can lead to issues with mental health as well.

Richard Layte, a professor of sociology and co-author of the paper spoke about the results of the experiment on Newstalk Breakfast on Wednesday (1 June).

"There's a kind of narrative out there that time spent on the internet can be at best wasted time or might be displacing other behaviours like talking to people face to face or doing something more self-improving or learning something," Layte said.


"What we found was that when we looked at a nationally representative sample of young people, we followed them from age nine to about age 18, that those people that were using high amounts of social media, they did have some poor mental health outcomes.

"They tended to be more likely to experience depression, anxiety, higher emotionality.

"But what we saw on the other end of the scale, those who didn't engage at all, there was poor outcomes for them.

"So for boys, they seemed to be across all the different dimensions that we have to examine, but for young women, we saw that they had poor engagement with their peers, they had poorer peer relationships.


"That would suggest that not engaging in social media tends to sort of cut out a channel of communication which these days is the norm.

"Social media, the internet, is just another form of communication that we all use to keep in touch with each other, and if you don't use that, you're excluded."

Professor Layte said that moderation was important, reminding parents using too much can lead to poor outcomes due to social media's addictive nature.