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Bitefile Social Media and Happiness

At first sight, research seems to show conflicting results. Of the twelve studies Bitescience collected (see below), six report a negative impact of social media, five report a positive role, and one finds no association between social media use and happiness. However, a closer look shows that it depends on what type of happiness and which children we are looking at.

The negative role of social media appears to have to do with:

  • increased feelings of loneliness;
  • lower overall satisfaction with life;
  • more negative body image;
  • lower social happiness.

The positive role of social media has to do with:

  • a richer social life, when social media use complements offline social life;
  • stronger parent-child relationships;
  • higher quality of friendships between boys;
  • higher self-esteem by looking at own profile;
  • detection of depression among friends.

Children who are most at risk for negative effects:

  • girls;
  • children who are lacking self-confidence;
  • children who prefer offline versus online communication.

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