Teens Feel Pressure to Always be "on"

The pressure to be available on social media might harm teenagers. The need to be constantly available and respond 24/​7 on social media accounts can cause depression, anxiety and decrease sleep quality for teenagers says a study presented at a British Psychological Society conference in Manchester.

The researchers, Dr. Heather Cleland Woods and Holly Scott of the University of Glasgow, provided questionnaires for 467 teenagers regarding their overall and night-​time specific social media use. A further set of tests measured sleep quality, self-​esteem, anxiety, depression and emotional investment in social media which relates to the pressure felt to be available 24/​7 and the anxiety around, for example, not responding immediately to texts or posts

Dr. Cleland Woods explained: ‰ÛÏAdolescence can be a period of increased vulnerability for the onset of depression and anxiety, and poor sleep quality may contribute to this. It is important that we understand how social media use relates to these. Evidence is increasingly supporting a link between social media use and wellbeing, particularly during adolescence, but the causes of this are unclear."

Analysis showed that overall and night-​time specific social media use along with emotional investment in social media were related to poorer sleep quality, lower self-​esteem as well as higher anxiety and depression levels, in "Pressure to be available 24/​7 on social media causes teen anxiety, depression."

Lead researcher Dr. Cleland Woods said, ‰ÛÏWhile overall social media useåÊ impacts on sleep quality, those who log on at night appear to be particularly affected. This may be mostly true of individuals who are highly emotionally invested. This means we have to think about how our kids use social media, in relation to time for switching off.‰Û

Make sure your local psychologists and counseling centers are marketing to teens and their parents. AudienceSCAN found that 3.8% of adults said they intend to pay for psychologist or counseling services (for themselves or family members). Help advertisers highlight their specialties in dealing with teens, with anxiety, with depression, and definitely with social media-​related issues while targeting this audience through snail mail and email. In the past month, 38% took action after opening ads/​coupons in their mailboxes. Another 38% took action after opening emailed ads or newsletters.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.