Gen Z shares beliefs about social media and mental health
Updated: Mar 27
The results from our three-minute social media survey are in!
First, thank you to all the incredible research firms and non-profit groups that provide us with rich data and insights into digital connectivity and its impact on teens and young adults. Some studies will point to the rise and fall of various social media platforms, while some will go into detail about time spent online, and others speak to the hard truths about anxiety, depression, and worse.
All this information is essential in helping educate humanity on the challenges at hand and even more valuable in informing how we create solutions that educate the youth on using social media as a tool, not their reality. And since the purpose of Leave the Feed is to help people take a break from social media, and reconnect with life, our insights team set out to make some discoveries of our own.
We surveyed over 500 global teens and young adults (13-25) with three objectives.
Learn about their perception of social media’s impact on mental health.
Discover if they want to re-evaluate their relationships with social media.
Gain insight into the activities and experiences they would engage in with extra time in the day.
What we found was inspiring!
First, it’s a welcome surprise to see that 68% of respondents agree that social media is harmful to the mental health of society.
With mental health at the forefront of popular culture and Gen Z realizing the ill effects of growing up digitally native without much regulation, it’s hard to deny that mindless scrolling through the feed comes with consequences. The popularization of terms like doom scrolling during the pandemic, documentaries like the social dilemma, and even social media influencers taking digital detoxes all shine a light on the ever-evolving issue of techno-overload.
However, sometimes the consequences of bad habits are easier to point out in others than see in ourselves. Only 45% of respondents agree that social media is harmful to their mental health, a drop of 23% from that of society. Why? This is a common trend that has shown up in Pew Research reports before, where teens think it is worse for other people than themselves.
Even with that sense of invincibility, the after-effects of scrolling are taking their toll on our respondents. 56% of them desire to spend less time on social media. There is awareness of the issue, self-analysis, and the desire to leave the feed.
Next, we set out to discover what teens and young adults would do if they had more time in the day. We left this question open-ended to gauge what life experiences the respondents miss out on because they spend too much time in the feed. Seeing that the themes that came back correlated with living a well-balanced, healthy life was heartwarming.
Focusing on personal development and well-being
Developing one’s talents, passions, and interests
Becoming more physically active and healthy
Reading to acquire more wisdom and knowledge
Finding ways to volunteer and give back to the world
More quality time with family and close friends
Spending time in nature to connect with its wonders
It seems pretty clear that teens and young adults want to break free from social media but lack the knowledge, tools, and support to make it happen.
To create positive change, we have to stop talking about what’s wrong and create a solution for how to make things right. Introducing our first project in development, Leave The Feed: Take a Break From Social Media and reconnect with life, where readers will become active participants through digestible daily sessions designed to create positive behavioral change.
We are currently seeking contributions from teens and young adults.
Please connect to learn more.