Aussie teens feel stressed after constant social media
CHECKING Facebook is the first thing Allaina Dargel does when she wakes up.
It's often also the last thing she does before she goes to sleep.
The Rockhampton teenager isn't alone, with the fifth annual National Stress and Wellbeing in Australia survey finding social media dominated the lives of many.
They study found 53% of Australian teens reported using social media sites for roughly 15 minutes before bed every night, with 37% connecting within 15 minutes of waking up.
In total, they spend an average of 2.7 hours connected to the sites daily.
But Allaina said she was also using sites like Facebook and Snapchat constantly throughout the day.
She said it was a fear of missing out on social action which prompted her to join her friends and sign up for Facebook at the start of high school.
The survey found social media was having a negative impact on Australian teens, many of whom said they felt stressed after constant connection.
It's an issue Allaina said she had with social media as well.
"At night when there is nothing to do except go on Facebook, that's my problem," Allaina said.
"It keeps me awake and enthused well into the late hours of the night, so I'm exhausted the next day.
"That's definitely negative.
"Also, I think always having the option to turn to a social media site in awkward situations or at social events has made me more anti-social and unable to hold a conversation."
The survey also found that increased reliance on social media was leading to a phenomenon known as Fear of Missing Out, colloquially labelled #FOMO.
"Because I use social media to communicate with my friends and family, when I am unable to access these sites I am paranoid and afraid that I have missed something they have said, for example if I'm supposed to be somewhere or I'm supposed to pick my little sister up from school," Allaina said.
"If I'm at a social event, like a party, and I don't have my phone to access Facebook or something, I don't necessarily feel anxious but awkward.
"I'm not good at social interaction and escaping to Snapchat or Facebook is my go-to response for an awkward situation."
- 57% of Australian teens said they found it difficult to sleep or relax after being on social media
- 60% reported feeling burnt out from constant connectivity.