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Research News

Social media: concerns over effects on teenagers are overblown and lack evidence

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 07 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2069
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Concerns over how social media impacts teenagers’ wellbeing and quality of life have been overblown and are not supported by solid evidence, according to researchers from the University of Oxford.1

The research team from the Oxford Internet Institute analysed data from 12 672 children aged 10 to 15 years between 2009 and 2017 and found the effects of social media were “small at best,” concluding usage is not a strong predictor of life satisfaction.

The authors warned that the fearful headlines about social media are not supported by significant evidence and that policy based on these fears will be “garbage.”

Last October, health secretary Matt Hancock gave an urgent warning …

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