Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends,  make magical memories, and, to teens, Snapchat whatever great gifts they received.


The Children's Society conducted a survey in England and Wales finding that over one in four young people, which is about 866,000 teenagers, say they couldn't enjoy Christmas sans social media.


Nearly a third of teens, or over one million, thought it was getting harder to revel in the holiday. Just one in ten teens said it was getting easier to enjoy Christmas.


Social media naturally invites comparison as kids share pics of their Christmas dinners, family gatherings, and, of course, presents. This constant competition takes its toll.


31 percent of, or almost one million, teens found that they wanted more gifts after comparing themselves to their peers on social media. 



One in five young children believes that their friends on social media appear to be having a better Christmas than them.


This is no wonder considering that on social media, many people, adults and teens alike, choose to show the highlights of the holiday, omitting the fights and disappointment.


However, online platforms also granted children some useful perspective. 40 percent of young people said that it made them think more about the less fortunate during the holiday season.


As for Christmas being a time to pay attention to our families and loved ones, 32 percent of polled 13 to 17-year-olds said that they actually increased their social media usage over the holiday.


The poll of 1,010 kids ages 13 to 17, conducted by Research Now for The Children's Society, discovered that a mere 8 percent of children spent less time on social media during the Christmas season.


It seems that this use of social media during Christmastime is often a way to reach out to friends over the break.



More than three-quarters of kids who use social media more during this season say they do so to keep up with what their school friends are doing. 47 percent of young people say they didn't spend enough time with their friends during Christmas break.


Social media is also, worryingly, used as an escape. Sadly, 13 percent say they use social more during the holidays to feel less alone, while 17 percent say they do so to get away from family stress. Almost a third (32 percent) say they use their phone more over Christmas because they're bored.


"Although social media can have many benefits, we know that overuse can be damaging to young people’s well-being and may harm their mental health," warned Matthew Reed, Chief Executive at The Children's Society.


“That is why parents need to be aware of what children are doing online and more needs to be done to raise awareness about how to minimise risks and help ensure use of social media is as positive an experience as possible," he continued.


Matthew recommended that parents talk with their children and encourage them to visit friends and stay active. This way, kids can enjoy the holiday season and avoid the undue stresses of social media.