Nearly half of Hong Kong youngsters feel “despair” if they do not have anything to post on social media, while a tenth want to break into the ranks of the popular online influencers, a first-of-its-kind .
The poll of 2,045 local adolescents, aged between eight and 19, also found that 43% of the young people spent more than three hours a day on social media, with 9% spending at least 10 hours a day.  The poll was conducted in May and June by the Hong Kong Paediatric Society and the Hong Kong Paediatric Foundation. It was said to be the first in the city.
Some 93% of people said they used social media. The top four social media or communication apps were WhatsApp (used by 82%), YouTube (70%), Instagram (61%) and Facebook (48%). On average, each signed up to five social media accounts.
Among the major reasons they gave for being online so much were “having formed a habit” (54%) and “for fear of missing out” (34%). Some 44% claimed they would feel “despair” if they had nothing to post on social media, and 26% said they would be disappointed if their posts did not receive as many “likes” or “positive responses” as they had expected. 
Of the respondents, 29% said they had broadcast live on social media before. Of those, 36% claimed they did so with an aim to become a “KOL”, or key opinion leader, online. And among those, one quarter said they would not mind sharing their private life or sexy photos online if they would make them popular.
The Lilian Wong Hiu-lei, past president of the society and secretary of the general, the secretary of the foundation, warned: “That young people are so keen to seek that they are cared about in the real world.”
“Many of the young people want to be a KOL because they want to express themselves, not because they want to make money by doing live broadcasts to promote products, like some KOLs online.”
Further analysis showed secondary school pupils tended to experience more negative psychological effects from longer on, or using more of, social media. Some 14% of the 1,545 respondents study in secondary schools reported feeling “lonely and empty”, and 9% also complained about feeling “stressed”. These are compared with 10 per cent and 5 per cent for those in primary schools.
The clinical psychologist Sumee Chan Kit-bing said the effects of social media on youngsters' mental health was serious. She said: “We can not take it too lightly. Dr Chan Chok-wan, former president of the International Paediatric Association, said that he had not been able to tolerate the disease. social media, but urged parents to teach their children. “Parents should encourage and help their children to establish a balanced lifestyle and develop different hobbies and interests,” Chan said.
He urged the government to upgrade the Commission on Children from an advisory body to one with a statutory power to implement a children's health policy.
A mother, Lena Tsang, said she set rules for her son, who is in Primary Four, to avoid him getting obsessed with social media.
“I started doing so when he was small so, now he has grown up, he is used to not spend too much time on online social media or games, “Tsang said. She added that parents should set an example and not use social media themselves all the time. – South China Morning Post
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