An article published yesterday by Inc. Magazine tells us that “teens are leaving Facebook in droves” (and defecting to Snapchat).

This is interesting because the findings of our soon to be published 2018 SA Youth Survey indicate that many young South Africans aged between 16 and 25 are wary of social media and worry about its ability to cause emotional distress.

The internet is full of articles about the hazards of social media addiction and many young South Africans are starting to pay attention to them.

  • 77% of them agree with the statement “social media enables people to put filters on things and tell the world that their lives are ‘amazing’ even though they are actually quite depressed”.
  • 68% agree that “social media is addictive because every time the user receives a message dopamine gets released”.
  • And 54% agree that “social media users feel genuine trauma when they get unfriended or when they can’t grow their base of ‘friends”.

The youth know and understand that social media is an emotional rollercoaster that also has the potential to get users addicted.

We’re not suggesting that because of this young people will stop using social media. They won’t. But perhaps they will migrate themselves to the social media platforms they regard as being less pernicious – like Instagram where producing visually appealing and artistic imagery is celebrated above virtue showcasing or simply bragging.

If you would like to hear more about the 2018 SA Youth Survey call Megan on 072 060 5241 (megan@alltold.co.za)