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Digital media

Concerns about perceived pressure from social media and pressure to perform among (young) adults
Professionals, policy advisers and researchers express their concerns during informative discussions, particularly about youngsters, young adults and young parents who are under a lot of pressure to perform, particularly fuelled by social media. These groups, in particular, always want to be contactable and compare themselves to the seemingly perfect lives of others. A lack of undivided attention due to a distracting smartphone is also mentioned as a point of attention. Young adults also have to do well at school, have part-time jobs and maintain a busy social life. Young parents feel the pressure of making a career for themselves, raising children and maintaining social contacts. In the informative discussions, this pressure is linked to mental health problems and burn-out. The pressure to perform, the pressure from social media and the connection with mental health, are also reflected in the Public Health Foresight study 2018 (Volksgezondheid Toekomst Verkenning - VTV, 2018)).

Excerpts from the informative discussions
'The influence of Facebook and social media plays a role, you only post that things are going well. Aspiration levels are really high: you have to do well.’ - Professional

'They have to be a jack of all trades; you have to be a good wife, you have to be good at your job, look after the kids and also yourself.' - Professional

4% of young adult men have a lack of control over their gaming behaviour

It is suspected that 4% of young men in Utrecht (aged 18-25) are less in control of their own gaming behaviour. This applies more often to men than to women. 79% of young adult men play video games, and 37% of women.

3% of young adults have less control over use of social media
Among 3% of young adults in Utrecht it is suspected that they have a lack of control over their use of social media. Almost all young Utrecht adults use social media.

Percentage of young adults that are suspected of having a lack of control over their own gaming behaviour and use of social media:



How is this lack of control measured?
Lack of control over one's own social media use is measured by asking six questions, such as 'How often do you find it difficult to stop using social media?', 'How often do you prefer to use social media rather than physically spending time with others?’ and “How often do you use social media because you feel bad?’. When these questions are mainly answered with 'sometimes' or '(very) often', there is a lack of control over one's own social media use. Lack of control over one's own gaming behaviour is measured in the same way, whereby the six questions are about gaming.

23- to 25-year-old adults game more often than younger adults

Over three in five young adults between 23 and 25 years old play video games. This is more frequent than younger adults aged 21 and 22, of whom 47% indicates that he or she plays games. On average, 55% of young adults in Utrecht play games.