Recently, the Pew Research Center conducted a study on teens and their social media usage in 2018. It revealed interesting results, notably in relation to usage of Facebook. Facebook, once the most popular social networking site, has now been taken over by the likes of Youtube, Instagram, and Snapchat.

It also revealed the increasing connection between teens and technology. Around 95% teens acknowledged they have a smartphone or at least access to one. In fact, 45% of teens said that they are online on a near-constant basis.

Dominant Platforms change

The platforms which dominated earlier are replaced by newer innovations and applications. Thirty-two per cent teens said they use Youtube the most on their digital devices. While 35% said the same for Snapchat, 15% quoted Instagram to be their favourite. Facebook stood behind with only 10% claiming it to be their most used platform.

Pew Internet commented, “For the most part, teens tend to use similar platforms regardless of their demographic characteristics, but there are exceptions. Notably, lower-income teens are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than those from higher-income households. Seven-in-ten teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared with 36% whose annual family income is $75,000 or more.”

Views on impact of social media

The survey also questioned teens on their perceived impact of social media on teenage users. However, the results weren’t a clear consensus. Some teens described that effect as mostly positive (31%) or mostly negative (24%). But, the largest share (45%) said that effect has been neither positive nor negative.

Teens stressed connectivity and communication as important positive impacts created by social media. Some 40% of the respondents said social media has had a positive impact because it helps them keep in touch and interact with others. Some even argued that social media is a good place for entertainment (9%). Sixteen per cent stressed the fact that social media has made access to news and information easier. Some even said that social media offers a space for self-expression (7%). Five per cent said that these platforms allow greater support for teen issues while others said it allows them to learn new things in general (4%).

“There is slightly less consensus among teens who say social media has had a mostly negative effect on people their age. The top response (mentioned by 27% of these teens) is that social media has led to more bullying and the overall spread of rumors. Meanwhile, 17% of these respondents feel these platforms harm relationships and result in less meaningful human interactions. Similar shares think social media distorts reality and gives teens an unrealistic view of other people’s lives (15%), or that teens spend too much time on social media (14%)”, Pew Internet said.

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Nimisha Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV

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