Call for Study into How Social Media Addiction Affects Older Generation

Call for Study into How Social Media Addiction Affects Older Generation

Psychologists and charities are calling for more research into how social media addiction could be affecting older generations.

The call comes as thousands of people start the first-ever major social media detox initiative - 'Scroll Free September'.

The Royal Society For Public Health (RSPH), which is leading the campaign, expects tens of thousands of people from 56 different nations to quit the most popular social media apps for the month.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube will be off limits to all who take part.

The charity points to growing evidence of the negative impacts of social media in young people. Research from 2017 that prompted the campaign suggests that anxiety and depression, negative body image, cyberbullying, poor sleep and FOMO (fear of missing out) are all affecting young people online.

Other studies in recent years suggest that:

-Ninety-one percent of 16 to 24-year-olds are using social media

-Addiction is thought to affect around 5% of young people

-Those who spend more than two hours a day on the platforms are more likely to report poor mental health.

However, RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer CBE says more research needs to be carried out into addiction and negative impacts on older people.

"One of the questions we would have is about role modelling, so when you've got family with young children or teenagers, I think we're not thinking as parents. How are we role modelling this? Are we sitting at dinner scrolling through our social media or tweeting, and what effect is this having on our children.

"I do think there needs to be some more research around adults but I think where we see the real evidence and damage potential is with children and young people."

However, RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer CBE says more research needs to be carried out into addiction and negative impacts on older people.

"One of the questions we would have is about role modelling, so when you've got family with young children or teenagers, I think we're not thinking as parents. How are we role modelling this? Are we sitting at dinner scrolling through our social media or tweeting, and what effect is this having on our children.

"I do think there needs to be some more research around adults but I think where we see the real evidence and damage potential is with children and young people."

Source: Sky News