February 9, 2019
Fully 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online ‘almost constantly’, according to the latest Pew Research Center poll, increasing concerns, about what The Atlantic’s Jean Twenge calls the most crucial question of our age… “have smartphones destroyed a generation?”
Despite the nearly ubiquitous presence of social media in their lives…
Pew notes that there is no clear consensus among teens about these platforms’ ultimate impact on people their age. A plurality of teens (45%) believe social media has a neither positive nor negative effect on people their age. Meanwhile, roughly three-in-ten teens (31%) say social media has had a mostly positive impact, while 24% describe its effect as mostly negative.
There is slightly less consensus among teens who say social media has had a mostly negative effect on people their age. The top response (mentioned by 27% of these teens) is that social media has led to more bullying and the overall spread of rumors.
“Gives people a bigger audience to speak and teach hate and belittle each other.” (Boy, age 13)
“People can say whatever they want with anonymity and I think that has a negative impact.” (Boy, age 15)
“Because teens are killing people all because of the things they see on social media or because of the things that happened on social media.” (Girl, age 14)
Meanwhile, 17% of these respondents feel these platforms harm relationships and result in less meaningful human interactions. Similar shares think social media distorts reality and gives teens an unrealistic view of other people’s lives (15%), or that teens spend too much time on social media (14%).
“It has a negative impact on social (in-person) interactions.” (Boy, age 17)
“It makes it harder for people to socialize in real life, because they become accustomed to not interacting with people in…