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Increase in social media use linked to decrease in adolescents' happiness

Hold on to your hats for this one: social media may be making teenagers unhappier than ever.

Increased social media usage correlates with a decrease in adolescents' overall happiness, according to the recently released World Happiness Report. The report does not determine that social media is a direct cause of unhappiness, but does draw a correlation between the rising rate of unhappiness in teens and the overall increase in technology usage.

There has been a "fundamental shift" in how adolescents spend their free time, the report claims, with time being taken away from other non-technology activities that are linked to higher levels of happiness, such as sleeping and in-person interaction.

Between 1991 and 2011, happiness and life satisfaction among teens increased in the U.S., per the report. But it began to decline in 2012, and by 2017 both adults and adolescents were significantly less happy than in the 2000s.

The study focuses on the effect of media on adolescents, but adults' happiness could also be affected by an increase in technology use, reports Fast Company.