1932

Abstract

Adolescents spend much of their daily lives online, and fears abound that digital technology use, and social media in particular, is harming their social and emotional development. Findings to date do not support causal or robust associations between social media use and adolescents’ development. Instead, prior studies have produced a mix of small positive, negative, and often null associations. The narrative around social media and adolescent development has been negative, but empirical support for the story of increasing deficits, disease, and disconnection is limited. This article reviews what is known about the association between social media use and adolescent social and emotional well-being, identifies key limitations in current research, and recommends ways to improve science while also minimizing risk and creating opportunities for positive development in an increasingly digital and uncertain age.

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2020-12-15
2024-04-22
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