There continues to be a lot of interest and concern around the role that social media plays in the lives of younger people and what impact it may have on their wellbeing at this important stage of development. However, we often hear of conflicting and small studies which are limited in their ability to answer these kinds of questions in a robust way.
Published in Nature Communications, researchers have studied data from 84,000 individuals from a range of ages and looked at their social media use and markers of life satisfaction over time. They were able to assess how the relationship between social media use and life satisfaction changed at different times during adolescence.
Journalists came to this briefing to hear about this new piece of research, the findings, how they fit into previous work on social media use in young people, and what the implications are for young people, parents and carers, policy work and future research.
Dr Amy Orben, Programme Leader Track Scientist, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge
Prof Andrew Przybylski, Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow, Director of Research, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Professor of Psychology and leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group, University of Cambridge
Prof Rogier Kievit, Professor of Developmental Neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University
This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments.