30 January 2024, by Emily Proctor

2,2 million people who took part in a recent survey say that they feel less happy due to social media use. Most of these users say they have a feeling of missing out or feel a sense of choice stress from being on the internet

Millennials and Gen Z have the greatest discontent from social media

According to the study, which was undertaken by research organisation Newcom, the millennial generation (29 to 44 year olds) and Gen Z (15 to 28 year olds) are the most unhappy because of social media use. These are also the two generations that spend the most time on social media.

The study also found that around 4 million people in the Netherlands sometimes consider quitting social media or attempting to reduce their use of platforms. Newcom’s study, which the company says is the largest of its kind in the Netherlands found that 14.3 million Dutch people use social media, an average of almost 2 hours per day, with teenagers from 15 to 19 years old using social media considerably more, at almost 3 hours a day.

Many young people are afraid to miss out 

Lead researcher Tim Jonker told NOS, social media are mainly used to stay informed. “Young people suffer a lot from FOMO , fear of missing out,” he says. “They’re afraid they’ll miss something if they don’t scroll all day.”

WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn remain the most used platforms and have grown in use. TikTok has also increased to 2.6 million daily users, although growth has levelled off, the researchers write. Snapchat and TikTok remain the most popular social media platforms among young people. 

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