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Australian Teens Addicted To Social Media

Rest Of World Just As Bad, Probably Worse

A recent study by the Bully Zero Foundation in Australia found that out of 1,023 teens aged 11 to 17, 27.8% would be more upset over losing their smart phones and connection to social media than to discover they had any health problems. I suspect that living in a country where nearly every animal has evolved some form of method to murder has made these teens fearless in the face of adversity. Either that or they really do love their Tumblr accounts.

source: shaneoleary.me

Furthermore, 42.9% would be more concerned about issues with technology than the breakdown of a friendship or the loss of a pet. Sorry, Fido.

Oscar Yildiz, chief executive of the foundation, had the following to say: "Some teenagers said their life would change dramatically should they lose their phone or friends on social media, including Instagram and Facebook, while others said they check their phone more than 80 times a day, even while at school." I’m so glad I didn't have a smart phone while I was at school. I would have failed those A-Levels just that bit more spectacularly.

This issue is obviously not limited just to Australia. A national survey in the US recently discovered that teens spend up to seven hours a day trawling through their social media accounts. It sounds like an awful lot, doesn't it? I would say it’s not that startling. Well, the issue of teens being more concerned about technology than their pets is. I think my dog would eat my phone if I was guilty of similar feelings.

Being plugged into the world is something that is becoming ever more important in our society. Teens aren't the only ones concerned about their social media presence, adults and companies are also liable to long social binges. Emily Bryce-Perkins a 29 year old publicist in London, commented that she’ll use a combination of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for upwards of six hours a day.

This is where we enter the shady realm of where responsibility lies. Is it really social media’s fault that it’s simply the best way to stay in contact with your school friends? Or is it more that teens aren't being told healthy amounts of time to spend in front of the screen? I can recall countless times that my parents would take away my Nintendo 64 controller so that I would do my homework (joke was on them, I always had a spare hidden).

source: cmswire.com

Heather Hawkins, principle at Essendon Keilor College, spoke about teaching students to limit their social media use at schools.  However, she felt the responsibility should lie with the community as a whole. I have to agree with Heather. I don’t feel that social media should be shunned for the time it seems to take up in our lives these days. Responsibility has to lie with those who consume it and it’s down to us to decide what we feel is a healthy dose of social media a day.

Now go and check your Facebook. It’s been a few minutes and your group chat has seven notifications.



Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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Australian Teens Addicted To Social Media Reviewed by Tom Welby on Thursday, November 20, 2014 Rating: 5
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