A new report released today by The Cybersmile Foundation has revealed that a majority of 16-24 year olds in the UK are unsatisfied with their lives when they compare themselves to others on social media.
Launched to coincide with the annual Stop Cyberbullying Day campaign, the new study, which asked 1,000 Gen Z social media users a series of questions on comparison culture, painted a stark picture of the current mental wellbeing of Britain’s young people.
The Comparison Culture 2023 report, which explores the impact of people comparing themselves to others online also highlighted how most social media users experience negative consequences as a result of doing so – a staggering 92% of all those surveyed.
The report further highlighted how more than half of Gen Z social media users said they experienced low self-esteem as a result of comparing themselves to others online. This has only been exacerbated in recent years following the pandemic with people spending more time on social media than ever before.
Dr. Barbara Mariposa, a leading medical doctor and Cybersmile’s Wellness & Equity Advisor, called for additional support to be provided to younger generations so that they can cope with the pressures of online life. Reflecting on the findings, Mariposa said, “More needs to be done to educate people, especially those who are still forming their self-identity, about when and why to engage with such platforms and how to do so safely.”
With an increasing number of Gen Z social media users experiencing a wide range of negative health symptoms related to their online habits, the study puts further emphasis on the fragile state of people’s mental health across the UK.
Should social media platforms be doing more to address vulnerable internet users?