February 8, 2023
A new study warns that teens checking social media frequently is linked to changes in their brain development, making them more sensitive to comments and the spread of social media.

According to the British newspaper The Independent, which reported on the study, the researchers followed approximately 170 students selected from public high schools in rural North Carolina for three years. At the start of the study, the researchers tracked how often participants reported checking social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and responses ranged from less than once to more than 20 times per day.

Participants then underwent annual brain imaging sessions that measured brain activity in anticipation of social reactions from their peers. The scientists said that likes, comments, notifications and social media posts provide a continuous and unpredictable stream of social commentary.

“The results show that children who grow up checking social media more often become more sensitive to their peers’ comments,” said study co-author Eva Telzer of the University of North Carolina.

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