The younger generation are labelled as social-media obsessed and deemed dependent on social platforms, however, a recent study has shown that almost two-thirds of teenagers would not mind if social media had never been invented. Digital Awareness UK carried out research and found that ‘two-thirds of 13-16-year-olds said they would be happy if it had never been invented and 71 percent said they had taken temporary digital detoxes to escape it.’
Following this new research, it seems that young people are beginning to understand the negative aspects of technology, and many admitted that that using social media is having a negative impact on their wellbeing.
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So, are the days of constant social media use behind us? With 52% of respondents claiming that ‘social media made them feel less confident about how they look or how interesting their life is’, it seems that social platforms aren’t as important to young people as other generations may have assumed.
The research also revealed that younger people are ditching smartphones for ‘brick phones’ like the Nokia 3310 in an attempt to escape the constant connection with social media.
Digital detoxes have become popular after celebrities like Ed Sheeran and the Kardashians admitted to deleting social media for a period of time, and it seems that an increasing amount of young people are taking it upon themselves to ban their social media use.
Despite the results suggesting that social platforms are on their way out, students who took part in the survey also shared the elements of social media that they do enjoy. Memes came out on top (obviously) and students also expressed a like for ‘storytelling features’, like Snapchat stories. 71% of students suggested that there should be less advertising on social media, and one in three said they’d like to see more opportunities to earn an income.
It seems that social media isn’t close to extinction but rather we’ve come to understand how much we can tolerate before it starts to become dangerous.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.