Teens Feel Better Support in Social Media

Several Democracies See Social Media as Mostly Good

Despite serious concern raised over social media, the teens paint a more nuanced picture of adolescent life on social media, crediting these platforms with deepening connections and providing a support network when they need it.

In a latest survey among teens aged 13 to 17,  the Pew Research Centrepointed out that eight-in-ten teens said that what they see on social media makes them feel more connected to what’s going on in their friends’ lives, while 71% say it makes them feel like they have a place where they can show their creative side.  As many as 67 % said these platforms make them feel as if they have people who can support them through tough times.


More teens told the survey that its effect has been mostly positive (32%) than say it has been mostly negative (9%). The largest share describes its impact in neutral terms: 59% believe social media has had neither a positive nor a negative effect on them. For teens who view social media’s effect on them as mostly positive, many describe maintaining friendships, building connections, or accessing information as main reasons.


Some 45% of girls say they feel overwhelmed because of all the drama on socialmedia, compared with 32% of boys. Girls are also more likely than boys to say social media has made them feel like their friends are leaving them out of things (37% vs. 24%) or worse about their own lives (28% vs. 18%).

When asked how often they decide not to post on socialmedia out of fear of it being using against them, older teen girls stand out. For example, half of 15- to 17-year-old girls say they often or sometimes decide not to post something on social media because they worry others might use it to embarrass them, compared with smaller shares of younger girls or boys.


Some 22% believe their parents are extremely or very worried about them using social media, while another 27% say their parents are somewhat worried. However, many teens – 41% – say their parents are worried only a little or not at all. And 9% say they aren’t sure about the level of concern their parents have over their social media use.


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