Digital Me

A survey exploring the effect of social media and digital technology on Australians’ wellbeing
Digital media Well-being Social media Cyberbullying Mental health Online abuse Cyber safety Australia
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Digital Me, is the latest in a series of surveys conducted by the Australian Psychological Society, to examine issues affecting the wellbeing of Australians.

It has been conducted as part of Psychology Week, an annual initiative that aims to increase public awareness of how psychology can help Australians lead healthier, happier and more meaningful lives.

This national survey of Australian adults and teens examines how the widespread use of digital technology and social media is affecting their wellbeing, behaviour and self-image.

So what did we find out about the digital lives of Australians?

90 per cent of Australians surveyed use social media, with Facebook and YouTube the most popular channels across all age groups

Teens spend 3.3 hours a day on social media and adults 2.6 hours. Some teens log on to their favoured channels as much as 50 times a day

Australians are highly attached to their mobile devices: 78.8 per cent of teens and 53.5 per cent of adults have what psychologists refer to as high mobile phone involvement. This can involve behaviour like using a mobile phone for no particular purpose and being unable to reduce mobile phone use

Australian adults who are highly involved with their mobile phones are also more likely to use mobile phones immediately before sleep, immediately on waking and while eating

The high use of social media and technology is impacting on self esteem, with two in three teens feeling pressure to look good. Adults find Instagram in particular fuels concern about their appearance

Many teens are contacted by or make contact with strangers via Facebook – 15 per cent say this occurs daily

60 per cent of parents do not monitor the online activity of their children

Teens and adults report experiencing or perpetrating bullying and antisocial behaviour online

Almost half of adults say they have been followed online by, or have followed, a former partner or friend

Despite this, Australians report that their experiences of using their favoured online social media platforms is generally positive, with many using social media channels to connect with family, friends and to entertain themselves

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