A recent poll revealed that a majority of Americans say life was "better" before social media became widely used and that a quarter or one-fourth of those who use it admit being "addicted" to it.

As per the Christian Headlines, Harvard Kennedy School Institute Director John Della Volpe and SocialSphere conducted a survey on 1,638 frequent Facebook and Instagram users last October 8 to 9. The survey showed that 64% of Americans believe "life was better" before social media. Of the said group, 53% are social media users in the 16-27 age group and 68'% are in the 28 and older age group.

Della Volpe announced the results of the survey in a thread in Twitter on October 13. He highlighted that "nearly 2/3 of Americans who use platforms believe life was better without them" and that "42% of #GenZ" were "addicted" such that they "can't stop if they tried."

Della Volpe's post included a screenshot of the survey that asked the respondent to complete the sentences "I'm addicted to ___; I can't stop if I tried" and "Life was better before ____" by choosing from the options "Social media," "Facebook," and "Instagram." The screenshot showed the corresponding results for the options in three columns as "All" representing the overall total and for two age groups: "Gen Z" respondents and for "Everyone Else."

Respondents for the first sentence showed a total of 28% for social media, 30% for Facebook, and 28% for Instagram. Of those who admitted overall addiction to social media, 42% were Gen Zers and 24% for older ages. Those who admitted being addicted to only Facebook comprised 42% Gen Zers and 27% were of an older age group. Those addicted to Instagram comprised 31% Gen Zers and 26% were "Everyone Else."

Besides these, the survey showed that "depressed," "angry," and "alone are most common words Gen Zers associate with after checking Facebook." He elaborated that "missing out and alone are tied with informed as the 3 words that Gen Zers most associate with their feelings after checking Instagram."

Most interesting on the survey results is that users are aware of the negative effects of the platform on their emotional and mental state yet continue to use it.

"Social media users recognize that it has a net negative effect on politics, the media, the country and how we think of ourselves. About one-in-three Gen Zers say that Instagram negatively impacts their body image--about twice as likely as everyone else," Della Volpe stressed.

In terms of social media regulation by the government, two thirds support it with 75% of which being Democrats and 68% Republicans. While 80% believe that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and "others who were of the info whistleblower disclosed but refused to do anything about it" should be given "some penalty." Others at 30% "believe criminal prosecution should be on the table" and "nearly half believe Congress should regulate content."

Della Volpe in an interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe revealed that he conducted the survey out of a focus group discussion he held with high school students where he asked what would they change given the opportunity to make their lives better. He revealed that a student responded living a "life without Facebook."

"(A student) said, 'Go back to life without Facebook'--where you could just ride your bike and find some friends and not worry about missing out on those sorts of things," Della Volpe disclosed.

MSNBC's Morning Joe had Della Volpe interviewed in line with recent reports on the negative effect Facebook and Instagram had on children, particularly the hearing in the United States Congress on it.

As we've reported here previously, Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn spearheaded an investigation on Facebook as part of the United States Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety early this month with the intent of discovering the "active role" Facebook has "in endangering children online."