A growing number of young people in Britain are fed up with their life, amid a sense of overwhelming pressure from social media which is driving feelings of anxiety and inadequacy, according to a new survey.
Results of the YouGov survey published in the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday showed that youth happiness levels in the UK had fallen sharply over the last decade with people disagreeing with the statement that “life is really worth living” doubled from 2009 to reach some 18 percent of those surveyed.
The study, covering 2,162 people and commissioned by the Prince’s Trust, a charity that tries to help young people and teenagers into education and work, also found that more than a quarter of people surveyed believed their lives lacked any clear purpose.
The findings shed further light on why teenage suicide rate in Britain has increased over the past years. Government statistics, due to be published late this year, will show that one in 20,000 teenagers in England commit suicide, a near-double increase compared to statistics in 2010.
Experts believe decreased levels of happiness among the youth in countries like the UK is directly linked to their increased use of social media. They say excessive online socializing by people under 30 has affected their relationships with friends and given them feelings of inadequacy.
“Social media has become omnipresent in the lives of young people and this research suggests it is exacerbating what is already an uncertain and emotionally turbulent time,” said Nick Stace, UK chief executive of The Prince’s Trust.
Campaigners have demanded the UK government to toughen its regulation of the social media companies which use special techniques to attract more and more users, especially from among children and teenagers.