Study: The more you use social media, the less you might want to have children

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Could there be a link between the time spent on social networks and the desire to have children? — AFP photo

Monday, October 10, 2022 11:48 PM MYT

HELSINKI, Oct. 10 — The use of social networks has a strong impact on our lifestyles. A Finnish study even evokes the idea of ​​a correlation between the time spent online and the desire to have children.

A study recently conducted by Kateryna Savelieva from the University of Helsinki in Finland, titled “Reasons to postpone motherhood during declining fertility in Finland,tried to explain the reasons for the sharp decline in the birth rate observed in the country in recent years.

To this end, 3,468 people, aged 20 to 44, were questioned about their desire to have children. Half of them said they did not want children or no longer wanted them, while more than a third (36.6%) had postponed their plan to have children. Meanwhile, 13.4% said they were unable to say whether they planned to have children or more children.

There are many reasons to postpone the decision to have a child. Some mention their uncertain situation (financial situation, studies still in progress, size of the apartment, etc.). Others prefer to keep their current lifestyle and not change anything in their daily lives. And there are those who are already parents and who no longer wish to have children.

Those who cited their desire to maintain their lifestyle, as well as those more concerned about the precariousness of their situation, are the most addicted to social networks. The latter are also more likely to be people who do not already have children at home.

The study also found that those with at least one child and lower career expectations were less likely to cite their situation as a reason for not pursuing pregnancies. On the other hand, a childless woman who uses social networks very regularly and who is more focused on her career is more likely to cite her lifestyle as a factor preventing her from wanting a child. These reasons are also more widely present among women with a higher level of education.

The association between heavy social media use and a lack of desire to have children, coupled with not wanting to change lifestyle, was more widely cited among childless people than among parents.

Uncertainty about “life situation” still appears as the main reason for not having or delaying having children. The financial crisis and unemployment are all factors that have an impact on the fertility rate. Note that this study was conducted before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. — Studio ETX

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