We all have social media accounts that we check on a regular basis, but for teenagers, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram often seem more important than face-to-face communication. And it’s terrifyingly true – 25% of teens say they feel happier online than in real lie.
The figures come from an online Newsbeat survey of more than a thousand youngsters in the UK. The results show that one third of the teens have met someone in person they originally met on the social media websites. In addition, a quarter of 15 to 18-year-olds admit they are happier online than in real life. However, parents and psychologists shouldn’t worry so much – real-life relationships are still more important than virtual ones, even for the younger generation, which practically is growing with technology. The number of friends teens know in person is more important for 66% of them, while only 28% say you need to look at the number of online “friends” and followers.
Surprisingly, 13% of the respondents said their social media friends knew them better than real-life friends. In fact, social media has become an integral part of teenagers’ lives – merely 1% of them said they “never checked in online for social reasons”. And 51% said they checked each notification as soon as it came through. But the fact that so many teens are actually meeting with strangers from the web, for psychologists, is quite worrying. Even if we know someone online for a long time, this doesn’t make them anything other than strangers.
Another interesting result – Facebook remains the most popular social media website, with 89% of the teens having accounts. It is followed by Twitter (62%) and Snapchat (58%). Also, 25% of the teens admit they are addicted to social media and another quarter believes they should give up their accounts on these websites.