Around half of British teenagers report feeling addicted to social media, with many users feeling like they have lost control over their usage.
According to a report by the Guardian, the findings come from the Millennium Cohort Study, which is an ongoing investigation into the lives of around 19,000 people born in the UK between 2000 and 2022.
Around 7,000 participants responded to questions on social media use with 48 per cxent saying the strongly agreed with the statement “I think I am addicted to social media.” According to the newspaper, 57 per cent of girls agreed compared with 37 per cent of boys.
Speaking to the Guardian Georgia Turner, a graduate student working on the study said that people who said they feel addicted may not be addicted in the same way that people are addicted to drugs and alcohol.
“Social media research has largely assumed that [so-called] social media addiction is going to follow the same framework as drug addiction,” Turner said. “But it’s not a nice feeling to feel you don’t have agency over your own behaviour. It’s quite striking that so many people feel like that and it can’t it be that good.”
This follows the news that over 30 US states are suing Facebook owner Meta for contributing to a mental health crisis.
In October last year, states including California and Illinois filed a complaint in an Oakland court, accusing Meta of misleading the public about the substantial dangers of its platforms and saying that the company knowingly induced young children and teenagers into addictive and compulsive social media use.