The mood of young people in the 15- to 24-year-old age group improved during the first few weeks of lockdown, new research suggests.

The uplift in mood coincided with youngsters having more time to relax and spend time on leisure activities, exercise and media, the analysis of data collected by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) shows.

The IPA’s TouchPoints 2020 survey reveals a significant decline in the number of young people feeling stressed, from 71% before the lockdown, to 58% after it began. Those who described themselves as feeling frustrated also fell, from 62% pre-lockdown to 56% once it began.

The data also provide insight into how young people changed the way they consumed media and communicated as a result of lockdown.

Voice and video calling shot up from an hour and 45 minutes a day on average before lockdown, to two hours and 12 minutes after it began. Before people were confined to their homes, only 47% of young people were using voice and video. This figure rose to 76% once social restrictions began.

And time spent on social media rose by almost 40 minutes a day, to three hours and 47 minutes. Social messaging went up by 10 minutes a day, to three hours and eight minutes. Talking on landlines, sending and receiving emails and texting all decreased.

Watching TV and video in general among younger audiences went up from three hours and 41 minutes a day, to three hours and 58 minutes during lockdown. People also reported watching more paid-for, on-demand content – Netflix’s reach went from 66% to 73% within the age group. People watched more content, too – viewing time went from two hours, 23 minutes a day to two hours, 34 minutes.

TikTok, though, was the standout performer: it doubled its reach within this age group, from 14% before lockdown to 30% during it. YouTube increased its reach from 60% to 63%.

When they weren’t consuming media, young people revealed that they used their extra free time during lockdown to sleep longer, getting up an hour later on average. And when they were awake, they spent more time relaxing – an average of four hours 15 minutes a day compared to three hours 43 minutes pre-lockdown.

Playing games, preparing food and cooking, as well as exercise and reading were also popular pastimes during lockdown, the data shows.

Sourced from IPA