Children happiness lowest in 25 years in part due to social media, report claims

Children happiness lowest in 25 years in part due to social media, report claims

Children are said to be the unhappiest they have been in 25 years in part due to "excessive social media use", according to a report.

Around 219,000 children are reported by The Children's Society charity to be unhappy with their lives.

The charity warned that the unhappiness for 10 to 15-year-olds exposes failings for the most vulnerable children in the UK, referencing an increase in issues surrounding male body confidence, social media pressures and lack of strong friendships.

The charity is urging the Government to introduce a national measurement of children’s well-being, which experts can respond to.

Anti-social media

Over the past eight years there has been a significant decrease in happiness with life as a whole among more than 2,000 10 to 15-year-olds.

According to the latest available data published by the ONS, in 2016/17, on a scale of one to 10, the mean happiness level among children was 7.89.

This figure has not been this low since records began in 1995. The last time it was so low was in 1996 when the mean happiness for life as a whole among children equated to 8.0.

“Modern childhood is a happy and carefree time for most, yet for too many it is not," said The Children's Society chief executive Mark Russell. "It is a national scandal that children’s unhappiness is increasing so quickly.

“Today’s young people are becoming progressively unhappy with their friendships – one of the fundamental building blocks of well-being – as well as appearance and school. We also know that excessive social media use is a factor linked to children’s low well-being.

“Children are also burdened with fears ranging from worrying about the future, not having enough money to not feeling safe at school and bullying. Many young people tell us they feel side-lined and ignored by those in power.”

Staff Writer


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