Kids on social: so they grow up unhappier than before

Research by the Institute of Labor Economics has shown that children who use social media daily are less happy than their disconnected peers."

Does your young child use social media yet? Be careful because he may be more unhappy than his peers "disconnected". A research published by Iza (Institute of Labor Economics) says so. An hour a day on social networks makes a child more unhappy than living with a single parent.

Nowadays, it's not only the age at which children get their first smartphone that has dropped, but also, and above all, the age at which children sign up and use social networks. Although most platforms impose age limits, many 10- to 12-year-olds today are already spending time on social networks like Facebook. This premature connection with the online world can make them very unhappy. Research called "Social Media Use and Children's Wellbeing," found that children who spend daily time on social media are less happy, by 14 percentage points, than those who live with a single parent.

The Research

The worst results emerged in the areas of family and school achievement. Social media can isolate the little one and distract them from homework. Contrasting results in the sphere of friendships. On the one hand, social networks make children less adept at managing a relationship in person than they are online, but on the other hand, frequent use of social networks and messaging apps makes them more empathetic in everyday life. Five key areas in the life of an average pre-teen were considered for the study: homework and school, family, friends, self-perception, and overall sense of well-being. Using social media, girls would be the most at risk. The online world with its stereotypes, in fact, puts at risk the self-perception and acceptance of their bodies of the smallest.

More social, less happy

According to researchers, the decline in happiness is due to several factors. Certainly among the main ones are the decline in some skills derived from the use of PC and the problem of cyberbullying. Using computers from a young age, in fact, children do not develop properly concentration, inventiveness or attention. While cyberbullying is a well known problem now also in our country and that now is also affecting several social platforms in the first person. But the problem indicated as most significant is the constant comparison with the success of others. Seeing other children receive many gifts, or photos of a party more beautiful than the one organized for his birthday, but also the successes of others in sports or at school give the child anxiety, a sense of inferiority and sometimes even anxiety about his own future. Social approval is a problem that concerns adults as well as children. In a world characterized by social networks, where we sometimes flaunt a life different from the one we live, to receive gratification from Like.