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Social media effect ‘tiny’ in teenagers, large study finds

The effects of social media use on teenage life satisfaction are limited and probably “tiny”, a stud..

The effects of social media use on teenage life satisfaction are limited and probably "tiny", a study of 12,000 UK adolescents suggests.

Family, friends and school life all had a greater impact on wellbeing, says the University of Oxford research team.

It claims its study is more in-depth and robust than previous ones.

And it urged companies to release data on how people use social media in order to understand more about the impact of technology on young people's lives.

The study, published in the journal PNAS, attempts to answer the question of whether teenagers who use social media more than average have lower life satisfaction, or whether adolescents with lower life satisfaction use more social media.

Past research on the relationship between screens, technology and children's mental health has often been contradictory.

Trivial effect

Prof Andrew Przybylski and Amy Orben, from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, say it is often based on limited evidence which does not give the full picture.

Their study concluded that most links between life satisfaction and social media use were "trivial", accounting for less than 1% of a teenager's wellbeing – and that the effect of social media was "not a one-way street".

Prof Przybylski, director of research at the institute, said: "99.75% of a person's life satisfaction has nothing to do with their use of social media."

The study, which took place between 2009 and 2017, asked thousands of 10 to 15-year-olds to say how long they spent using social media on a normal school day and also rate how satisfied they were with different aspects of life.

They found more effects of time spent on social media in girls, but they were tiny and no larger than effects found in boys.

Less than half of these effects were statistically significant, they said.

"Parents shouldn't worry about time on social media – thinking about it that way is wrong," Prof Przybylski said.

"We are fixated on time – but we need to retire this notion of screen time.

"The results are not showing evidence for great concern."

The researchers said it was now important to identify young people at greater risk from certain effects of social media, and find out other factors that were having an impact on their wellbeing.

They plan to meet social media companies soon to discuss how they can work together to learn more about how people use apps – not just the time spent on them.

'First small step'

Ms Orben, co-study author and psychology lecturer at University of Oxford, said the industry must release their usagRead More – Source

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I lost my arms and legs – stop it happening to others

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his fac..

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his face removed has called for mandatory training on sepsis for NHS staff.

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is a serious complication of an infection, which can have devastating consequences if not treated quickly.

There were delays in spotting Tom Ray's sepsis.

He says a commitment is needed to avoid more tragedies.

Tom's story

Tom Ray was fit and healthy and living in Rutland in the East Midlands before he contracted sepsis at the age of 38 in 1999.

He had had a successful career in corporate banking and was in the process of setting up a business with his pregnant wife, Nic, when he fell ill.

His sepsis – thought to be caused by a cut to his gum during a trip to the dentist, combined with a chest infection – came on rapidly and led to vomiting and a high temperature.

But it took five hours at the hospital he was admitted to before the condition was diagnosed.

He spent months in a coma, during which time his wife Nic gave birth to their second child, Freddy.

His recovery has been a long and gruelling process, involving years of plastic surgery. (more…)

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Health

I lost my arms and legs – stop it happening to others

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his fac..

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his face removed has called for mandatory training on sepsis for NHS staff.

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is a serious complication of an infection, which can have devastating consequences if not treated quickly.

There were delays in spotting Tom Ray's sepsis.

He says a commitment is needed to avoid more tragedies.

Tom's story

Tom Ray was fit and healthy and living in Rutland in the East Midlands before he contracted sepsis at the age of 38 in 1999.

He had had a successful career in corporate banking and was in the process of setting up a business with his pregnant wife, Nic, when he fell ill.

His sepsis – thought to be caused by a cut to his gum during a trip to the dentist, combined with a chest infection – came on rapidly and led to vomiting and a high temperature.

But it took five hours at the hospital he was admitted to before the condition was diagnosed.

He spent months in a coma, during which time his wife Nic gave birth to their second child, Freddy.

His recovery has been a long and gruelling process, involving years of plastic surgery. (more…)

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NHS ‘should not prescribe acne drug’

The parents of young people who have killed themselves and patients unable to have sex are calling f..

The parents of young people who have killed themselves and patients unable to have sex are calling for the NHS to stop prescribing acne drug Roaccutane.

Ed Henthorn said it had caused him erectile dysfunction, psychosis and suicidal thoughts.

And one man who believes his son killed himself after taking the drug said the risks "are just too high".

Manufacturer Roche said "millions of patients worldwide have benefited from taking the drug".

The majority of those who take the drug have a positive experience.

'Pretty overwhelming'

"I used to think about girls… but my feelings, thoughts, just faded away," Ed Henthorn told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

He was 19 when he took Roaccutane. He describes his acne as mild but bad enough to want to treat.

After three weeks he started to experience side-effects, including reduced energy and sex drive.

Then he experienced erectile dysfunction.

"That was why I decided to stop taking it," he said. (more…)

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