“I can’t do anything right.”
“I do not enjoy life.”
“My life is not useful.”
The share of teens who agree with these phrases has doubled over the past decade, according to an annual poll conducted by the University of Michigan — and one expert asserts that the increase in depressive symptoms is tied to the rise of social media.
After 2012, the number of students expressing agreement with those sentiments started to climb.
In particular, the number of students who agreed with the phrase “I do not enjoy my life” has more than doubled in that decade.
“Frequent and prolonged social media use is associated with elevated risk for psychological distress.”
Sultán was not involved in the poll.
“I think it’s a fair conclusion that one might make from looking at this data,” he told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. “However, I think it’s important to acknowledge that this is not a scientifically rigorous, peer-reviewed analysis.”
“Unfortunately, this trend appears to be increasing in severity.”
As young people rely more heavily on their screens for their social interactions, Ginder noted that there are far fewer opportunities for real-life, person-to-person relationships.
As young people rely more heavily on their screens for their social interactions, an expert said there are fewer opportunities for real-life, person-to-person relationships. (iStock)
“These apps are designed to support dependency, and a young person’s natural tendency to ‘compare and despair,’” he said. “Prolonged social media use is opening the door for psychological distress for an already vulnerable segment of our population.”
“It’s a system that was designed to be addictive.”
Part of the reason social media has become so problematic for kids is that they are less able to regulate themselves, Sultán explained.
“It’s a system that was designed to be addictive, to get them to keep using it,” he said. “And kids’ brains are not as developed as adult brains.”
At a minimum, Sultán recommended that parents set guidelines for kids to stop using devices at a certain time each evening.
“All of this creates a very difficult circumstance for teens to navigate without support.”
In May, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released an advisory titled “Social Media and Youth Mental Health,” warning about the potentially negative impact of social media on children and teens.