Nature has revealed the social division and adverse mental health impacts that come from the use of social media.
A new survey by leading strategic insights consultancy, Nature, has uncovered that while most Australians believe social media is not authentic, it still dictates their social, political, and mental well-being, with our younger generations being the most at risk of adverse effects.
Unfortunately, the demographic most at risk of experiencing these adverse effects are younger generations.
The research shows that social media is taking its toll on the nation in more ways than one:
- Over one-third of Australians question friendships with people when they see the support of extreme views on social media that they don’t agree with (35 per cent).
- 66 per cent of people believe that what you see on social media isn’t an accurate portrayal of someone’s life.
- 74 per cent of people believe mental health is just as important as physical health and agree that social media should have a minimum age restriction.
- 22 per cent of people think that their phone is getting in the way of social relationships.
- 21 per cent of people say they feel addicted to social media.
- 29 per cent of people feel they were better at keeping in touch with friends before they started using social media.
- 39 per cent of 18-39-year-olds are regularly disappointed during or after looking through social media.
Nature’s managing partner, Chris Crook, said, “With metaverse being the word of the moment, Facebook whistle-blowers and continued contention with the spread of conflicting – and often false – information across social media, we need to assess and understand the impact these platforms are having on our population.”
He added, “The way we use social media is constantly evolving and the innocent role it once played in our lives is becoming increasingly questionable.
Troublingly, Nature consultant, Georgia Gale, said, “Younger people who grew up with and are more familiar with social media are increasingly swayed by it, with almost half thinking that what they see on social media is an accurate portrayal of life.”
“We have found these younger age groups are far more likely to be mentally and emotionally affected by social media, with feelings of anxiety and disappointment prevalent.”
In addition to these highly concerning findings, Nature has reported that people aged 18-39 are significantly more likely than older people to feel higher levels of anxiety, jealousy and disappointment when using social media.
This research was conducted from the 28th of September to the 6th of October 2021. The survey sample was representative of the national population.
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