Because of social media. But no one stops…
AMSTERDAM – More than six million Dutch people say that social media poses a “danger to our mental well-being.” Of that group, 2.2 million people say that they actually feel less happy when they use social media. More than four million Dutch people have often considered leaving Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, but they still do not do so.
This is evident from the National Social Media Survey that research agency Newcom conducts annually. The problems occur most among Generation Z and Millennials, who not only spend the most time on social media but also say they are the least happy when using the platforms.
Lead researcher Tim Jonker notes a “huge contradiction” in the figures. “Young people suffer a lot from fomo, fear of missing out,” he explains. “They’re afraid they’ll miss something if they don’t scroll all day. And one in three respondents also states that they gain more self-confidence from using social media. Half of the users experience socials as an addition to their real life.”
But at the same time, social media also fuels the stress of choice and the fear of not being able to meet the perfect picture, says Jonker. “There are too many events and hobbies, especially on social media,” he explains. “Wasn’t another party much more fun than the one you went to? Have you chosen the right clothes to fit in? Influencers paint a perfect picture that users still want to comply with. That dark side is revealing itself in more and more people.”
Jonker emphasizes that he has not investigated how to solve this problem: “These are questions that the government must consider, we only observe the trends.” More than 7,100 respondents were interviewed for the study, who were representative of the Dutch population aged 15 and older.