‘Young people feel bad because of social media’

Young people and the media: it remains a difficult story. Do they actually watch linear TV, or are Netflix and Videoland taking off with the profit? And if they go looking for news, where do they do it? That’s exactly what (and a whole lot more) Mediahuis Nederland, Wayne Parker Kent and Mediatest wanted to find out. Unsurprisingly, their research among Gen Z and Millennials shows that the role of social media in the lives of young people continues to grow. But Meta’s products – and thus Mark Zuckerberg’s products – are lagging behind in popularity. Is Facebook really doomed?

However, it is not only social media that young people pay a lot of attention to. Their (mental) health is also increasingly in the spotlight and they strive for sustainability, but that does have its limits. Mediahuis, Wayne Parker Kent and Mediatest are conducting this survey for the sixth time this year, among 2,447 young people. They ask young people about their (social) media use and investigate how they think about topics such as health, mobility, norms and values, sustainability and finance.

TikTok and YouTube popular among young people

Mark Zuckerberg and his Metaverse include platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. They are separate from each other, but are nevertheless linked. However, these are not the platforms that young people are most attracted to, according to the Youth Survey. TikTok, YouTube, Discord and Twitch have grown in popularity.

In addition, Netflix is ​​still the winner in the field of streaming services, but Disney + and Videoland are gaining ground.

Youth survey: young people use more media and feel worse

In general, young people consume more media and spend more time on their phones. That has a downside. This year, for the first time, there is a growing group who indicate that they are sad, insecure or even depressed after using social media. Young people don’t see the future of the world as rosy at all: in 2018 53 percent thought the world would become a worse place, now it is 64 percent.

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In the survey, young people were also asked about how they view certain themes. For example, they give their health a 7.1, a decrease compared to the 7.7 they gave that theme in 2020. When it comes to ‘sports’, we see a polarization emerging. 32 percent say they exercise more than before, but on the other hand 31 percent say they exercise less. We see the same with ‘healthy food’. There, 22 percent say they have started to eat healthier, compared to 23 percent who indicate that they have started to eat less healthily.

And then sustainability was also discussed: an important theme for today’s young people. However, there is a downward trend there. For the first time, there are fewer women who indicate that they eat vegan or vegetarian. This number has grown in recent years. The same decrease can be seen in the number of people who expect to eat less meat. Although the diversity in products and the offer has increased enormously in recent years, this seems to have little effect on consumption.

Do you want to read the complete study? You can download it here.

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Youth survey 2022: ‘Young people more often feel bad after using social media’