Glasgow: Social media platforms are increasingly having a negative impact on the behaviors of children, according to a research group studying social interactions.
The research group has reported findings from an experiment, suggesting that continuous use of social media, especially by youth and children, can lead to the promotion of negative public behaviors or addictions, including substance abuse, alcohol, cigarettes, and gambling.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, and Public Health Scotland assessed the effects of social media on adolescents aged 10 to 19. A total of 1.4 million adolescents participated in 73 studies conducted between 1997 and 2022, with an average age of 15 years.
The analysis revealed that daily users of social media had higher chances of engaging in alcohol consumption (48%), drug use (28%), and cigarette smoking (85%) compared to those who did not use social media daily. The research also indicated that tobacco use was higher in low and middle-income countries compared to high-income countries.
In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers acknowledged that these results could be influenced by factors such as parental attitudes. The researchers also highlighted the significant evidence of alcohol advertisements on various platforms causing harm.