Teenage girls most addicted to TikTok, though app makes life worse for the depressed: Poll

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Teenage girls most addicted to TikTok, though app makes life worse for the depressed: Poll

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Teenage girls who report severe symptoms of depression are more likely than those without depression to say their lives would be better without social media, a new survey found.

A new study from Common Sense Media surveyed the social media habits of teenage girls aged 11-15 and found that 38% of those surveyed expressed symptoms of depression, including 17% who said the symptoms were “moderate to severe.”

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The survey found that the more acute the depressive symptoms, the more likely the respondents were to say their lives would improve if they did not have access to social media apps. The survey found that 34% of respondents reporting severe depression said their lives would be better without TikTok, while 29% said it would be worse.

Similarly, 29% of respondents with moderate to severe depression said their lives would be better without Instagram, while 23% said it would be worse. Just under half of respondents who reported serious depressive symptoms said not having the app would have no impact on their life.

“This new report gives us an up-to-date, comprehensive road map to teen girls’ online lives— as they see and experience them,” Common Sense CEO and founder James Steyer said in the report. “The findings reinforce what we’ve found over and over as we’ve undertaken this research: Teens who are already at risk or experiencing mental health challenges are also more likely to have negative experiences with social media. But those same teens are also more likely to find the benefits of social media, like finding resources, community, or support.”

In contrast, 33% of teenage girls who did not experience any symptoms of depression said their lives would be worse without TikTok, while only 10% said it would be better. A total of 57% said it would have no impact.

For Instagram, 20% of teenage girls without depression said their lives would be worse without the app, while 7% said it would be better; 72% said not having the app would have no impact on their lives.

The survey also found that 45% of all teenage girls indicated they were addicted to TikTok, while 37% said they were addicted to Snapchat, 34% were addicted to YouTube, and 33% were addicted to Instagram. The survey respondents also reported a generally positive view toward social media apps broadly, with 65% of respondents saying YouTube has had a positive impact on people their age, as well as 43% for TikTok and 38% for Instagram.

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Neutral opinions on all three apps far outpaced negatives, with only 5% of respondents indicating YouTube has had an overall negative on their peers, while 26% said the same about TikTok and 19% about Instagram.

The survey polled 1,397 girls aged 11-15 from Nov. 11 through Dec. 5, 2022. The margin of error is 3.5%.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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